The iPad has been a bit hit among children and adults, and for a couple of years it has been used to help individuals with autism to communicate and learn. Now, the iPad is also being used to help elderly individuals who suffer from reading difficulties due to a stroke or other neurological pathologies. A stroke can leave individuals with a language disorder called aphasia. Aphasia can impact a person’s ability to understand written and spoken language. Alzheimer’s disease can also be the source of a person’s difficulty to read and write correctly. These individuals can receive speech-language services, which is designed to re-habilitate their language skills. A speech-language pathologist, Barbara Fernandes, created an application for the iPad called Reading Rehabilitation Toolkit that is helping adults to recover reading skills. The application is currently available in two languages: English and Brazilian Portuguese. There are plans to translate this application to other languages in the future such as Spanish and French.
The Reading Rehabilitation Toolkit application, also known as “Afasia Pro” in Portuguese, targets improving reading skills for adults with reading difficulties. The Reading Rehabilitation Toolkit integrates six state-of-the-art reading activities at the word and phrase levels all specifically crafted to promote success in reading rehabilitation. The application contains hundreds of words, organized into semantic categories to facilitate its use.A video demo of the application can be seen here:
The application displays a series of words and images that must be matched by the user. One of the activities requires the user to look at a picture, read a question and answer multiple-choice questions. The app also promotes writing with one activity that allows users to combine words to create short phrases.
This is a step forward into the future, where family members can take an active role on helping their parents, or grandparents who suffered a stroke to re-gain reading skills by using the application at home. Part of the treatment for stroke victims was to promote reading at home, and this application can serve as a great practice activity with monitoring at home. For more information visit the Smarty Ears Website www.smartyearsapps.com