Practical aspects of creation of alternative and augmentative communication symbols for communication skills rehabilitation in people with aphasia
It is described a process of alternative and augmentative communication (AAC) creation for a practical survey of AAC symbols usage in 90 patients after a brain stroke.
Speech problems are presented as one of the main consequences of neurological diseases like brain stroke in adults and aged people.
Alternative and augmentative communication is defined as an effective tool in the rehabilitation of speech and communication impairments as well as a compensatory opportunity for people with aphasia.
The aim of the survey was to study a communicative response to used AAC symbols in early speech rehabilitation.
A central issue was to study cases of AAC usage and to describe a process of images (pictograms) understanding by patients, and to describe important characteristics of the used symbols and phrases.
The survey is based on observations of professionals who filled an online form after the speech rehabilitation of patients with aphasia during the first 2 weeks after a brain stroke.
The survey is used to discuss the content of symbols before the creation.
Nominal and rank scales are used to specify whether patients understood images on cards and identified them with real objects, states, needs, or actions.
Quantitative results showed that 70% of patients had positive emotional reactions towards cards usage in communication.
In most cases, patients had positive dynamics on speech reconstruction, and specialists reported on patients’ rising motivation to communicate with caregivers.
The article summarizes a Ukrainian experience of AAC symbols creation and usage for early rehabilitation of patients after a brain stroke, and this attempt can attract more attention to possible experimental research about AAC visual stimuli effectiveness in aphasia cases to improve patients' social integration.