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Using a tablet computer application to treat acquired dysgraphia and boost word output

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posted on 2013-12-19, 16:44 authored by Cait O'Halloran
Background: The use of apps in aphasia rehabilitation is growing (Holland et al 2012). Dysgraphia therapy traditionally relies on cueing strategies (Hillis 1992). Little is known about the clients’ experience and usage of technology for therapy. Aims: The aims of this feasibility study are to determine the effectiveness of an app to treat dysgraphia at single word level and to explore the factors associated with the uptake of Tablet computer apps as therapy tools. Methods & Procedures: Five participants were recruited from local SLT referrals, two of whom withdrew before completion of the programme. The design included unstructured interviews, observations and repeated baseline assessment of untreated items (n=52). The app was designed with a genetic algorithm (artificial intelligence) and provides the participant with a series of cues (semantic, grapheme and anagram). Outcomes & Results: Although testing revealed no significant change in written naming ability, post treatment attempts at spelling moved closer to target words. Positive factors associated with the app as a mechanism for providing therapy include independence, motivation, interaction with technology, and an improvement in transferrable computer skills. Memory difficulties led to frustration using the app. Comorbid deficits (visual processing and non-articulatory dyspraxia) made interaction more difficult. Conclusion: The app for dysgraphia therapy was successful at reducing written output errors at the grapheme level. Subjective factors influenced the participant’s choice to use the app. Future research measuring the impact on participants’ memory is advised.

History

Degree

  • Master (Research)

First supervisor

Kearns, Áine

Note

non-peer-reviewed

Language

English

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