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Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2002 Jul;4(4):291-5.

Computerized approaches to communication retraining after stroke.

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  • 1National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, 6100 Executive Boulevard, Room 2A03, MSC 7510, Bethesda, MD 20892-7510, USA.


Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) strategies traditionally have been designed for individuals for whom oral speech is not a viable option. Common clinical practice has expanded AAC use to a tool for cognitive retraining or remediation. Although technologic developments offer the potential for vastly improved communication and inclusion for some individuals with severe communication disorders, technology alone does not result in successful communication. Although AAC interventions have become increasingly common across the age range, the research base underlying the design of AAC technology, intervention strategies, and treatment potential across communication disorders remains quite limited. To move beyond the traditional application of AAC strategies as a communication modality for persons with severe motor disorders to applications for persons with cognitive/linguistic disorders, three interrelated areas of research requiring further investigations are discussed. These include the following: use of AAC as a research tool to provide theoretical insights into the nature of normal and impaired language and cognition; development of AAC strategies as treatment tools to facilitate language recovery and use (production and comprehension); and studies that evaluate the efficacy of applying AAC strategies as communication modalities for individuals with acquired cognitive/linguistic communication disorders.

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