The following intervention with NeuronUP recommends a series of activities aimed at aspecific case of a personwith language impairments.
Many definitions of language have been proposed. According toLecoursand Lhermite1,“language is the result of a complex nervous activity that allows individuals to communicate mental states by the production of multi-modal signs that symbolise these states in accordance with a linguistic community’s own convention.” Language is used to convey ideas, emotions, thoughts and intentions.
The following is a brief explanation of the processes involved in the main functions of language2:
- Listening comprehension:involves extracting sounds from speech and storingspoken words and word meanings to understand language.
- Oral expression:involves lexical and phonological factors that produce speech.
- Reading:is the most complex process, involvinga visual analysis system, a visual input lexicon and grapheme-to-phoneme conversions.
- Writing:involves the orthographic lexicon, the graphemic buffer, and phoneme-to-grapheme conversions.
The intervention will be carried out using the web platform NeuronUP3, whichwill serve as a tool to achieve the objective previously set, which is none other than to improve language.
For this intervention, we will select three digital activities involving the use of a tablet—although a computer could also be used—; these activities could be printed as well to be completed in a traditionalmanner (i.e., paper-and-pencil tasks).
The Occupational Therapist Practice Framework4 will be used to assess the affected performance skills, and cognitive skills in particular.
After assessing each one of them, an intervention focused on language will be developed with the purpose of promoting adequate performance of BADLs and IADLs,and improving quality of life.
The main goal, therefore, will be to improve this cognitive function (language) through meaningful activities for the client. The client selected the tasks to be performed, which were adapted to his cognitive status and interests; different levels of difficulty are available for these activities.
Intervention with NeuronUP in a middle-aged person with language impairments
Activity 1. Word Scramble
This activity consists of forming words by rearranging letters that are randomly placed. This task has 9 levels of difficulty: level one is the least difficult (words made with 4 letters) and level 9 is the most difficult (words made with 12 letters).
In this case, we will start at level 3 and increase the level of difficulty as the cognitive skill improves. The activity can also be adapted (customized stages), i.e., set the timer, determine the word length, the number of hints, the maximum number of allowed errors, choose the words to be displayed, or other general aspects.
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Activity 2. Fill In The Blanks
Clients mustguess the words based on the definitions given. Training can start at an intermediate level (level 5). This activity is divided into 8 levels. Word definitions are given and clients must guess the words. To do this, NeuronUP provides the total number of letters that make up the word and some of the letters. On the website, clients can find a keyboard to complete the word.
Activity 3. Hangman
This game consists of guessing unknown wordsthat appear on the screen. Clients will click in the consonants and/or vowels to see if they can guess the hidden word. If they select a letter that is not part of the word, a part of the hanged man will appear on the left side; the entire hanged man appears when clients run out of attempts. If clients cannot guess 3 hidden words, they will be taken to the previous level.
This task has 6 levels of difficulty, in addition to customized stages where different parameters and general aspects can be adjusted.
- Junqué C, Barroso J. Manual de Neuropsicología. 3th ed. Madrid: Síntesis Psicología; 2009.
- Moreno-Flagge N. Trastornos del lenguaje. Diagnóstico y tratamiento. Rev Neurol; 2016; 57:85-94.
- NeuronUP. NeuronUP. [sede Web]. La Rioja: NERONUP; 2012 [updated on November 7, 2016; retrieved on November 7, 2016]. Available in: https://www.neuronup.com/en
- Ávila Álvarez A, Martínez Piedrola R, Matilla Mora R, Máximo Bocanegra M, Méndez Méndez B, Talavera Balberde MA et al. Marco de Trabajo para la práctica de la Terapia Ocupacional: Dominio y Proceso. 2da Edición [Translation]. www.terapia-ocupacional.com [website]. 2010 [10/20/2015]; [28p.]. Available in: http://www.terapia-ocupacional.com/aota2010esp.pdf. Translated from the American Occupational Therapy Association (2008). Occupational therapy practice framework: Domain and process (2nd ed.).
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