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Category Therapy Increases Engagement Between Stroke Survivors and Therapists
Update to popular speech-language therapy app for mental organization offers even more opportunities for therapists to add value to the exercises
“Mental organization, the ability to group things according to a common characteristic and then name that characteristic, helps form a basis for structuring and organizing our world,” says Megan S. Sutton, MS, CCC-SLP (C), Tactus Therapy Solutions co-founder, app designer, and practicing speech-language pathologist. “Unfortunately, this skill can be lost or damaged after a stroke or other brain injury.”
While the latest version uses the familiar four exercises — Find, Classify, Exclude, and Add One — and three levels — Concrete Categories, Subcategories, and Abstract Categories — of its predecessor to help stroke survivors develop categorization skills, it also encourages a more meaningful and collaborative speech therapy experience between the therapist, user, and loved ones.
“We believe that apps should make therapy easier for clinicians and keep client engagement at the heart of their work,” explains Ben Carter, Tactus Therapy Solutions co-founder and app programmer. “The comprehensiveness of this app allows for more engagement and more practice time.”
Every year more than 850,000 people in North America suffer a stroke. Language impairment — or aphasia — occurs in more than a third of people who survive a stroke on the left side of their brain. Many recover within a few months, but up to 60% still have language impairments more than six months after a stroke.
WHAT’S NEW IN VERSION 1.03:
Driven by customer feedback, the latest version of Category Therapy includes:
• Visual Representation of Exclude: Choosing the correct item during the Exclude exercises now triggers movement of the images to group the similar items together and segregate the one that doesn’t belong. This action stimulates further comprehension of categories plus offers an opportunity to discuss the groupings.
• More Challenging Medium Level: The difficulty of the medium/subcategory setting level has been increased by providing more choices from the same basic category. This encourages deeper understanding of the subcategory and makes for a more natural progression in difficulty between the easy and hard levels.
• Even Greater Customization Options: Now you can choose to turn off auto-advance between tasks. While auto-advance may be preferred for independent practice to keep therapy moving, the manual advancement provides an opportunity to add value to the exercise and increase engagement and discussion between the user and the therapist or caregiver.
DETAILED DESIGN EMPOWERS USERS
With 700 images, 70 categories, three levels, four activities, and multiple settings for target type and size, this app has literally thousands of unique trials, giving you unrestricted access to quality speech and language therapy exercises. Items can be presented as words, pictures, or both with each word pronounced in real speech with a neutral North American accent.
The deceptively simple design allows the user to focus on the exercise without being distracted or confused by extra buttons or unnecessary audio. Clean high-contrast layout uses real full-color photos and lower case letters, which are more readable because of their distinct shapes. Interactive text and icons enable the user to hear an item, category, or instruction stated aloud — if and when they choose.
“The simpler exercises work on semantic knowledge to improve word-finding skills, while the more challenging exercises require inferencing and reasoning,” says Sutton. “Hints are built-in to enable independent practice, and when used together, there are numerous ways a therapist or family member can engage with the user to add value beyond the exercises.”
Category Therapy Lite is free to download and includes a sample of the types of activities available in Category Therapy, which costs US$14.99. Take advantage of our Back to School promo and get US$5 off Category Therapy, plus four other popular app. All apps are available for iPhone and iPad and can be downloaded from the App Store. For more information visit http://www.tactustherapy.com or connect with us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/
About Tactus Therapy: Tactus Therapy aims to provide a better stroke recovery journey. Founded in 2011, we believe in building relationships between people and technology to enhance the therapeutic process and empower stroke survivors to direct their own recovery. The company offers a wide range of speech, language, and cognitive rehab applications. “Tactus” means touch in Latin, and the touch screen is what makes Tactus Therapy Solutions unique and so easy to use. www.tactustherapy.com
About Category Therapy: Category Therapy is a professional speech therapy app that practices mental organization skills for individuals who have suffered language loss due to stroke or brain injury. Speech-language pathologists & families have said they “absolutely love this app,” calling it “highly recommended,”
Megan S. Sutton, MS, RSLP
Tactus Therapy Solutions
Tactus Therapy Solutions Ltd.
Page Updated Last on: Sep 15, 2014