Program Details

 

WHAT A DAY LOOKS LIKE

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Individual Therapy

Individual Therapy

Each day, participants receive 5 hours of speech and language treatment.   Three hours are spent in “individual or direct therapy” designed to target your impairment and consequence–based goals.  One hour is spent, targeting speaking and listening skills.  Your Speech-Language Pathologist may focus on strategies to help you “find the words”, drills to work on apraxia of speech, or techniques to expand your words into sentences. This is the “impairment-based” hour of the day.

Another hour of individual therapy is spent with a speech-language pathologist, targeting your reading and writing skills. Do you have problems reading a headline? Can you read a book? The therapist will determine your reading strengths and will build upon those to help you return to reading for pleasure. Can you write words? Sentences? The therapist will help you to practice writing and spelling, and will provide strategies for formulating sentences.

Your third hour of individual therapy with a speech-language Pathologist really targets those “consequences” of aphasia. Do you have trouble communicating with family and friends? Your therapist will look at ways to help you to get your point across using a variety of means. Can you read the menu and order on your own in a restaurant? Do the grocery shopping? Pay bills? Use the telephone? Your therapist will look at the everyday communication that you do and will look at ways to help you in being successful – wherever you go.  If you are returning to work, the therapist will examine the communication skills you need for your return and will help to set up strategies and supports to foster independence and success. During this functional hour of therapy, your partner will also learn specific skills to facilitate communication at home.

Computer Training

Computer Training

In your fourth hour of individual therapy, you are using the computer and assistive technology to help you again use the Internet and email. You will be introduced to applications that will not only allow you to practice your speech, language reading and writing skills, but will allow you to also engage in Social Media.

Small Group Therapy

Small Group Therapy

In your last hour of daily therapy, you will be attending a group therapy session, with other program participants. These sessions allow participants to practice the skills they have learned in their individual sessions and allow them to share tips, ideas and strategies with one another. Music is a daily part of every group session and each day a new topic or theme is discussed. Activities include “paper and pencil” tasks as well as conversation and hands on activities – like preparing a recipe, painting a picture or following maps in a scavenger hunt! Themes are tailored to the interests of the group – and no two sessions are ever the same!  Partners do not attend group sessions, which provides an excellent topic for conversation at the end of the day.

Therapeutic Recreation

Therapeutic Recreation

Recreation therapy is a critical component to the InteRACT program – and has been since the program began. While speech-language pathologists can usually help you to improve your communication skills within their office – if you do not use those skills outside, you will not continue to improve in your communication once the program is over. A return to previous leisure interests or the chance to try a new leisure interest will help you in “getting out” once you return home.  And “getting out” and using your skills with a variety of communication partners is important to further expanding your communication skills.

The Recreation therapist will meet with you individually to find a leisure activity that you would like to try – and will arrange for that opportunity.  Whether it is a golf lesson, a dance class, or the chance try geocaching in a local park, you and the therapist will select and plan that activity. Because InteRACT has been around since 2002, we have developed a great community of individuals across a wide range of leisure activities, who understand the communication challenges of individuals with aphasia and are well versed in supportive communication strategies.  Leisure “samples” are almost guaranteed to be an enjoyable outing!

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapy is another important component to the InteRACT experience.  Research in brain recovery indicates that physical exercise and brain health go hand in hand. It only makes sense that a program focusing on communication recovery and neuroplasticity SHOULD all focus on overall health and physical activity. We schedule group and/or individual sessions for all participants, no matter what your physical condition. Whether someone needs to have their exercise routine evaluated or someone needs specific activities to target strengthening in a hemiplegic arm, physiotherapy is provided at least once weekly. In addition, we will support and encourage any recommendations made by the physiotherapist throughout your therapy day.

Community Integration Activities

Community Integration Activities

To ensure that skills learned in your individual sessions are transferred to real life situations, community integration activities are an important component of the InteRACT program. You will be going outside the Clinic to practice your communication in regular individual outings – to the grocery store, the coffee shop, the pharmacy - because we know that it is important that you develop confidence and independence in using your communication abilities. As a group, all participants also go to various places to practice (e.g. mall, library, etc.) each with his/her own individual communication assignment.

Partner Involvement

Partner Involvement

Aphasia does not affect just the individual who has it – but also all of his/her communication partners. For this reason, clients attending the InteRACT program must be accompanied by a partner. We define partners as caregivers, spouses, family members or friends who are involved in the daily life of the person with aphasia. Partners actively participate in designated therapy and support group activities for the purpose of encouraging communication carry-over both inside and outside the home or family unit. Partners gain a better understanding of aphasia through experiential-based learning opportunities and become skilled at using strategies to facilitate effective communication.  

During the therapy day, partners are encouraged to attend individual therapy sessions and they also have their group sessions to share their own experiences about living with aphasia. We should also note that partners do have “free time during the day – allowing them the opportunity to stay involved in work and home – even at a distance!

We feel strongly about the need for partner involvement on our program, but we also recognize that not all partners have the ability to attend the program for 4.5 weeks – due to work or other family commitments. In those cases, participants are welcome to come with a number of partners – we have had individuals attend with 5 different partners – one for each week!  We are happy to discuss our partner model and ways to make it “work” for each individual.