Neurogenic Language Case Studies: Conducting conversation: a case study using the spouse in aphasia treatment

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SIG 2 Perspectives on Neurophysiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders







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This paper describes an approach to aphasia treatment termed Conducting Conversation, hereafter CC. This treatment approach is somewhat of a hybrid of Holland’s (1991) “Conversation Coaching,” Kagan’s (1995) “Supported Conversation,” Lyon and colleagues’ (1997) “Communication Partners,” Simmons-Mackie and Damico’s (1996) “Authentic Social Perspective,” and the author’s own clinical and research experience (Boles, 1997; 1998).

The CC method falls in the category of “social approaches” to aphasia treatment (Simmons-Mackie, 1998). When clinicians use social approaches, treatment “looks” different. For example, traditional didactic treatment might look like Figure 1, in which the client and clinician are seated across a table from one another, and the clinician “delivers” the treatment. Meantime, the spouse is reading a magazine in the waiting room or, at best, is in a corner of the treatment room trying not to be in the way. In contrast, the CC approach might not take place in a treatment room at all. However, if it did, it might look more like Figure 2, in which the spouse is not only in the room, but is in a position, literally, to participate in communication. What follows is a case description to illustrate the CC method. The case is presented roughly chronologically, beginning with the referral of George, the client with aphasia, to the University of Hawaii’s speech pathology and audiology clinic.