It is important that you review all software and products before you purchase them. You can do this either by ordering a demonstration disk (if available) or by choosing only those programs with a 30 day trial policy. Do not be fooled by the company’s “promotional” materials. Software may sound perfect but you really need to try it first to make sure that is suits your needs and learning style.

There are two main types of software programs used by individuals with aphasia.

  1. Drill and Practice - programs developed to improve many language and cognitive skills such as verbal expression, attention, reading and memory.
  2. Compensatory Programs - programs that allow you to compensate for problem areas, including-
    • Speaking Aides - specialized programs that allow the computer (or a dedicated communication device) to produce sounds, words and sentences for you.
    • Writing Aides - specialized programs that help you produce written language.
    • Memory Aides - specialized programs cue you to complete day to day tasks.

You may want to use a combination of software programs, some to help you improve areas of difficulty and others to help you compensate for skills that have been impaired. You may find that you do not want to use drill and practice software but are very motivated to use the Internet. You may think that you cannot do this because of your difficulty with reading. Remember there are programs that can read you. You may want to try these rather than spending time improving your reading.

© 2000 Ruth Bluestone

Excerpt from Expanding the Role of Technology for Individuals with Aphasia: A Whole New World of Opportunities.