Happy New Year!
Welcome 2019! I have had a wild year starting this business, learning about insurance from the other side, slowly getting the swing still of scheduling, taxes, and how to arrange a holiday schedule.
Something I learned about myself, even in my mid 30's, is the importance of routine and stability. I rely heavily on following the same schedules and paths, and the holidays are great but definitely not a time of stability! It reminded me to be grateful for the people who I have connected to, and for my usual coping skills to handle changes. Not all the clients I work with cope with change.
I have been researching a lot about impulsivity lately. I wanted to know if the research supports a technique for impulse suppression, or if target behavior elevation is the therapy key. As you might guess, there isn't really a definite answer, but the speech therapy techniques talk a lot about activating the appropriate words. This is the context of aphasia, which is defined by ASHA as "a language disorder that happens when you have brain damage... Aphasia may make it hard for you to understand, speak, read or write. It does not make you less smart or cause problems with the way you think."
One very well known technique for addressing aphasia is Semantic Feature Analysis, or SFA. This helps with anomia, which is when you can't "find the word" you're looking for. SFA is documented by Boyle and Coelho in 1995 in the American Journal of Speech Language Pathology Vol 4, No 4. (http://eprints-prod-05.library.pitt.edu/227/1/25-03.pdf). We all use this technique when we talk around an object to think of the word that's just "on the tip of my tongue". The details associated, like it's group, use, action, properties, location and association, are considered and expressed to assist with activation of the word in verbal expression. This is an example of trying to elevate the target word as opposed to suppressing the error expression.
This technique is useful for mild-moderate aphasias, and requires a fairly heavy cognitive load to execute and the results for generalization are considered to be limited thus far. In my journey to find some more current evidence (1995 was over 20 years ago!) I found an article by my Aphasia professor from Rush, Dr. Peach. (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02687030903058629) which supports a discourse-based approach using the same techniques as opposed to single pictures.
Working with adults and kids to build their vocabulary and get their wants, needs, and observation labelled is a huge part of the job. For the SLP though, there seems to be a tendency to try to make these activities hobbies as well and my friends and I used to play this game called Anomia during our breaks! https://www.anomiapress.com/our-games.html
I have resolved to blog more in 2019, so here's hoping you'll get to hear a little more from me soon. I seem to be talking about The King's Speech a lot again lately, so maybe I'll go into the accuracy of that era of speech therapy!
Stay tuned, and happy new year everyone!