Can a computerized reading therapy protocol augment auditory comprehension in severe aphasia?
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Treatment of severe aphasia has historically been very difficult to remediate, and efficacious treatment options for this type of aphasia are limited (Samo et al., 1970). A person with aphasia demonstrates impairment in the understanding of and expression of oral language. Also, due to the multi-modal nature of aphasia, an individual with aphasia will usually demonstrate impairment in reading abilities as well. The purpose of this study was to determine whether or not a computerized reading therapy program could augment auditory comprehension. Utilizing a single-subject, ABA design, we evaluated the effects of computerized ORLA (Chemey, 2010) on an individual with severe aphasia. Qualitative results yielded improvements in both auditory comprehension and verbal expression, as well as gains in confidence within the subject. Failure to establish a stable baseline led to the inability to statistically analyze results. Several of the testing modalities showed no marked improvement, and possible reasons for these responses are presented. This study signifies the need for further research into ORLA as it could be an invaluable resource for individuals with severe aphasia.