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March 1989

Aphasia Therapy: More Than Just Hand-holding

Author Affiliations

Irene Walter Rehabilitation Institute Washington University Medical Center 509 S Euclid Ave St Louis, MO 63110

Arch Neurol. 1989;46(3):249. doi:10.1001/archneur.1989.00520390015003

To the Editor.  —Hartman and Landau,1 in the June 1987 issue of the Archives, concluded that "conventional" speech therapy provides no more benefit than supportive counseling. What is conventional speech therapy and how was it evaluated by the authors? Hartman and Landau define it as the therapeutic techniques stressing language "drills" that were published by Schuell et al over 30 years ago.2While conventional therapy can provide a structural basis for treatment, it does not meet specific patient needs. Fortunately in the past 30 years, significant gains have been made in both theory and practice in the area of speech therapy. Given the sophistication now available for differential diagnosis of language disorders associated with cerebrovascular accident, speech pathologists need not rely only on conventional therapy but have available to them techniques related to specific language deficits.3-6 These advancements in therapeutic technique were not acknowledged in their study.

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