FAQs

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT IS APHASIA?

Aphasia is an impairment in the ability to communicate as a result of brain injury. Because communication is central to our interactions with others, aphasia has a broad impact. It affects social, vocational and emotional aspects of an individual's life as well as that of his or her loved ones.

WHAT IS INTERACT?

InteRACT is an adult intensive aphasia treatment program in North America that offers clients 4.5 weeks of intensive training with a history of proven success since 2002.

HOW DO YOU KNOW INTERACT WORKS?

The clinical outcomes from over 30 programs show that our clients make measurable gains in a variety of areas. They complete the program with improved communication ability relative to their specific communication challenges and they leave with renewed confidence. We follow up with our clients to obtain feedback and follow their results.

HOW IS INTERACT DIFFERENT FROM OTHER INTENSIVE APHASIA TREATMENT PROGRAMS?

  • More therapy
  • More 1-on-1 therapy
  • Director involvement
  • Coordinator involvement
  • Advance preparation
  • Focus
  • Interns
  • Back to life activities/Community integration
  • Recreation therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Partner involvement

More therapy: 4.5 weeks of training, five days per week, five or more hours per day. This means clients actually receive a full four weeks of therapy in addition to pre- and post-testing. More days of therapy equals more results.

More 1-on-1 therapy: Four hours each day of one-on-one speech work, three hours of individual speech and language therapy, and one hour of individual therapy using a computer. One-on-one is the expensive part of any program, so the more you get, the more value you receive for your money.

Director involvement: The InteRACT Director, with 30+ years related clinical experience, provides daily therapy with clients.

Coordinator involvement: The InteRACT coordinator, with 15+ years related clinical experience, provides daily therapy with clients.

Advance preparation: Clients submit specific video-recorded materials before arriving, allowing InteRACT therapists to be prepared to "hit the ground running" when you arrive.

Focus: InteRACT uses both consequence and impairment based treatment approaches. Our therapy targets all aspects of communication; speaking, reading, writing and comprehension, with a goal of enhanced life participation. Everything is focused on your goals and on improving your communication quality of life.

Interns: The graduate interns work under the supervision of the speech-language pathologists (SLPs) and provide support to the SLPs and clients. They help in tailoring and customizing therapy materials for each client. InteRACT has a competitive internship program. The interns are starting their final year of graduate school and they bring a freshness, vibrancy, and continuity to the program that doesn't exist elsewhere. Our clients who have attended other intensive programs consider this to be one of the biggest advantages of InteRACT.

Back to life activities/Community integration: To help you apply your skills to real life situations, we take the therapy out of the therapy room. You will go to places in the community and will practice using your new communication skills in those settings, with a variety of communication partners. These opportunities allow you to carryover the skills you have learned and serve to improve your confidence in various settings.

Recreation therapy: You will also participate in individual and group recreational activities that you may have thought you couldn't do. The certified recreation therapist will accompany you to a session in the community for you to be able to practice your desired leisure activity.

Physiotherapy: You will participate in weekly physiotherapy sessions to help maintain your physical health and recovery.

Partner involvement: Partners are an important part of the program. They attend sessions to see what you are working on, and they also have the opportunity to participate in sessions. Your partner will practice skills to help make communication more easy, and learn how to carry on activities when you return home. Partners also attend ‘partner only’ group sessions in which they are able to share their experiences with each other, learn about aphasia and communication, watch videos, and participate in simulations.

WHAT IS THE PROGRAM SCHEDULE LIKE?

Each day of the program (Monday through Friday):
  • The day begins at 9:00 a.m. and ends at 5:00 a.m. You will have between 5-7 hours of treatment scheduled each day.
First day of program and second to last day of the program:
  • Assessments and reassessments are conducted throughout the day.
Each Day:
  • Participants and partners have lunch together as a group.
  • Participants and partners have their evening meal together one day of the week.
Every week:
  • Participants and partners participate in physiotherapy.
  • Participants and partners participate in evening group recreation therapy activity.
  • Group sessions are scheduled for partners.
  • Participants have individual recreation therapy sessions.
  • A group community integration session is scheduled off-site.
Once during the program:
  • Participants take part in an individual recreation therapy activity tailored to their interests.
The final Friday of the session:
  • Individual treatment sessions, plus a team meeting (each participant and partner will attend an individual exit meeting with the clinicians and your primary intern[s]).
  • There is a final group session at the end of the day.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE PROGRAM ENDS?

On the final day of the program, you will meet with the director, your clinicians and your primary intern(s) to discuss your progress and the plan for continuing progress at home. These recommendations/strategies are included in a written summary that you take home. Clients also leave InteRACT with specific homework assignments to be submitted back to us and we stay in touch. Also, at discharge, clients are provided with a DVD summarizing their progress in the program. The DVD is designed to be shared with friends and family. A formal written treatment report is mailed to you soon after you return home.

WHO PROVIDES THE THERAPY?

Speech therapy is provided by the InteRACT Director; the program Coordinator; and experienced speech-language pathologists chosen from an international pool of candidates. All InteRACT clients receive therapy from the same therapists each day, so you know you're getting exceptional quality. Recreation therapy and physiotherapy are administered by experienced therapists in those fields.

WHO IS A CANDIDATE FOR THE PROGRAM?

InteRACT clients are adults with all types of aphasia, at all levels of impairment, and at every age. Adults with chronic aphasia - many years post onset - can benefit from intensive treatment. Individuals should be:

  • medically stable.
  • cognitively and physically able to endure the intense nature of the program.
  • able to attend with a designated communication partner (caregiver, spouse, family member or friend involved in the daily life of the person with aphasia).
  • able to identify specific and realistic goals for participation in the program.

WHEN DO WE NEED TO REGISTER?

We can accommodate up to eight clients in each session. We run sessions during the spring and summer. We accept applications year round; however, sessions fill quickly so it's best to apply early. Later requests will be accommodated, as space permits.

WHERE IS HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA?

Halifax, Nova Scotia, is on the east coast of Canada. There are a number of direct flights to Halifax each day from within Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom. It is about a two hour flight from Toronto, under two hours from New York City, and just over one hour from Boston. It's not that far away!

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE COST OF THE PROGRAM?

The cost of the program covers:

  • All clinical intervention including assessment and reassessment, over 100 hours of speech and language treatment, evening group recreation activities, individual recreation therapy planning, and group physiotherapy.
  • An individual recreation outing of the client's choice, including transportation and other costs associated with the activity (e.g., golf lesson, pottery class, photography class, etc.).
  • Lunch Monday through Friday for both client and partner.
  • Evening meal one night each week for both client and partner.
  • Transportation and admission for all outings.

IS IT COVERED BY MEDICAL INSURANCE?

Private insurance policies cover varying amounts of outpatient speech-language treatment. We recommend that individuals check with their insurance company. We are able to provide the necessary documentation that they may require for reimbursement

THE PROGRAM SEEMS EXPENSIVE; HOW CAN I JUSTIFY THIS INVESTMENT?

InteRACT is an investment in your future. Our clients tell us they consider the cost to be reasonable once they see what InteRACT does. Don't let cost deter you from considering or sharing this information. Once they know about InteRACT, clients often find ways to raise the necessary funds, whether it's through private insurance that covers varying amounts of outpatient speech-language treatment, support from funding agencies, community groups or benevolent organizations, families pooling their resources, or crowd funding

DO YOU HAVE ANY BURSARIES TO HELP SOMEONE OFFSET THE COST OF THE PROGRAM?

We have had bursaries in the past. Individuals should contact us directly to find out if we have any bursaries available for a particular program.

COULD SOMEONE COME FOR JUST TWO WEEKS, INSTEAD OF FOUR AND A HALF?

The intensive nature of the program is a key factor in your success. Our experience indicates that 4.5 weeks is an essential amount of time to achieve objectives. Because of this, we only accept applicants for the full 4.5 week session. We have observed that the first two weeks provide the foundation for learning skills and strategies, and in the second two weeks individuals are able to more easily apply and practice these skills.

ARE YOU A FOR-PROFIT OR NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION?

We are a non-profit organization.

HOW ARE YOU FUNDED?

We are primarily funded through client fees. Dalhousie University also provides support for InteRACT. Additionally, we apply for grants and can accept donations to help offset costs and to potentially set up bursaries.