Amanda Khoe, M.S., CF-SLP, writes about Lexical retrieval deficits and Intersystematic facilitation/reorganization in our last Video therapy post.

Lexical retrieval deficits (i.e. word-finding difficulties) are a common feature of non- fluent aphasia. Individuals may have difficulty recalling or producing the names of familiar objects and concepts. Many people with aphasia also present with verbal apraxia– impairment in motor planning for speech. For these individuals, word-finding difficulties are compounded by motor-planning deficits.  

Intersystematic facilitation/reorganization is the process in which preserved non-verbal skills, such as body and hand movement, are leveraged for effective rehabilitation of spoken language. At the start of this clip, the clinician discusses how individuals with aphasia and/or apraxia can recruit an intact communication modality (e.g. gestures/pantomime) to compensate for an impaired modality (e.g. verbal speech) in everyday conversation.

In situations where the speaker is out of the listener’s sight (e.g. a conversation via phone), the speaker may conduct semantic feature analysis (SFA) to identify/name an object or concept. The speaker describes various semantic features of a target—such as the target’s function, location, and visual properties. In this clip, the participant uses semantic feature analysis and gesture to communicate the target word, “computer”. She describes ways in which a computer is used (e.g. Facebook, typing) and uses hand gestures to demonstrate how a computer is positioned with a keyboard.  Gestures and verbal description are valuable tools for improving communicative effectiveness for people with aphasia.   

Amanda Khoe, M.S., CF-SLP

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