Intensive aphasia treatment for measurable results
Each day, Monday to Friday, you’ll receive five hours of intensive aphasia treatment—four hours of one-on-one therapy, and a one-hour group session. Physiotherapy, recreation therapy, group meals and community integration activities round out the week.
Your partner will be an active participant in most sessions, to ensure progress continues after the program ends.
Hour 1: speaking and listening
This is the first of three hours spent working one-on-one with a speech-language pathologist. In this intensive aphasia treatment session, you’ll master strategies to help you find the words you’re searching for. You’ll learn drills to improve the motor skills you need to say sounds and words clearly, and techniques to expand those words into sentences.
Hour 2: reading and writing
Do you have problems reading a headline? Are you eager to return to reading for pleasure? Can you write words? Sentences? Can you send an email? Your therapist will determine your reading and writing strengths—and then build on them. You’ll practice reading, writing and spelling, and develop strategies for forming sentences.
Hour 3: communication skills for home, work and life
This hour of intensive aphasia treatment focuses on the real-life consequences of aphasia. Your speech-language pathologist will help you become a successful communicator in whatever you do—whether that’s ordering food in a restaurant, paying bills, shopping, using the telephone, or communicating with family and friends. If you are returning to work, the therapist will set up strategies and supports for a smooth transition.
Lunchtime is spent with other participants and partners, providing an opportunity to share ideas and strategies in a fun social setting. On Fridays, the whole InteRACT team joins the group, which is a great time to find out about events and places to visit on your weekend off.
Hour 4: computer training
Computer and assistive technology will help you improve your ability to communicate and allow you to engage more fully in the community. And with apps for just about everything, we’ll show you some aphasia-specific ones to help you practice speaking, reading and writing. You’ll practice using the internet, email, and social media with comfort and confidence.
Hour 5: small group therapy
The final intensive aphasia treatment session of the day is in a small group setting. It’s a chance to practice what you’ve learned, and share tips, ideas and strategies with other participants. These sessions change daily, with new discussion topics, tasks, and hands-on activities tailored to the interests of the group—you might prepare a recipe, paint a picture, or follow maps in a scavenger hunt. Conversation and music are a part of every group session.
Physical exercise and brain health go hand in hand. While InteRACT’s first goal is communication recovery and neuroplasticity, overall health and physical activity are a vital part of your journey. All participants take part in group or individual physiotherapy sessions at least once a week as part of their intensive aphasia treatment. Your sessions may target a specific weakness, or be the start of a new or improved exercise routine.
At InteRACT, we take therapy out of the therapy room. Regular individual and group outings throughout your intensive aphasia treatment program will let you apply your skills and strategies in various settings. Supported trips to places like the coffee shop, library, grocery store, mall and pharmacy will help you apply your skills and boost your confidence.
Would you like to get back to golfing or dancing? Or maybe try something completely new? Our recreation therapist will help you to identify an activity, and accompany you into the community to give it a try. An evening group recreation activity is also scheduled each week.
Recreation therapy has been a critical component of the InteRACT program since 2002, and we’ve developed a wonderful group of diverse community contacts who understand the challenges of aphasia. This is an opportunity to expand your communication skills and maybe have an adventure along the way. You may be surprised at what you’re able to do as part of this intensive aphasia treatment program.
As you know, your aphasia does not affect just you—but everyone you interact with. For continuity of care and recovery, every InteRACT participant must be accompanied by a partner, such as a caregiver, spouse, family member or friend. Your partner will observe some sessions, and actively participate in others. They will gain a better understanding of aphasia—and you’ll both develop effective communication skills.
‘Partner only’ group sessions are a forum for support and information exchange. Caregivers learn about aphasia and communication, participate in simulations and share their experiences with each other.
We recognize that not all partners are able to attend the entire 4.5 weeks of the program. If this is the case, you are welcome to come with a number of partners. We’ve had individuals attend with five different partners—one for each week! We are happy to discuss our partner model and ways to make it work for each person.
InteRACT is a 4.5-week program—four weeks of full-time intensive aphasia treatment, with additional days at the start and end for assessments and reassessments. On the final day, we hold an exit session with you, your partner, the program director, clinicians and your speech-language pathology interns.
We’ll discuss your progress and plans for ongoing at-home treatment. Our strategies and recommendations will be included in a summary form you’ll take with you at the end of the program and a more detailed report you will receive shortly after you return home.