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The Life Participation Approach to Aphasia (LPAA): Making Speech Therapy Relevant and Person-Driven

Constant Therapy | Aphasia

All too often, treatment for aphasia is not focused on functional skills. It can also be easy for speech therapy clinicians to take the driver’s seat, and not involve the person with aphasia in their clinical decision making and goal setting – enter the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia (LPAA). Read on to find out how you can start to harness this treatment approach for you as a patient or for you as a clinician working with patients.

Over the past years, more and more attention has been drawn to the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia (LPAA for short). Some of the most well-known speech therapy clinicians in the field defined and developed this treatment approach (see the American Speech and Hearing Association’s statement on LPAA).

The big idea of the approach is that therapy should be focused on functional activities that are meaningful to and even selected by the person with aphasia themselves. Rather than doing worksheets describing pictures, the person with aphasia might…

  • be out in the community practicing ordering coffee,
  • listening to voicemails and answering questions about them,
  • or practicing reading a prescription.

We at Constant Therapy definitely ascribe to LPAA, and believe that providing functional, meaningful tasks for our users is key to successful recovery. That’s why we make sure that patients can adjust tasks for themselves (check out Advanced Mode under settings) to allow patients to decide which tasks they find most meaningful. It’s also why so many of our tasks are directly related to functional activities.

Four Featured Language and Speech Therapy Tasks

1. Read a calendar – Task helps improve skills in interpreting, planning, and managing daily activities within a calendar.

2. Read a map – Task helps improve reading, visual, and analytical skills by navigating and interpreting maps.

3. Count money – Task helps improve daily living skills by counting the amount of money displayed in US dollar bills & coins.

4. Understand voicemail – Task helps improve comprehension and memory of everyday language by answering questions about voicemails.

Looking for some resources as a clinician to start infusing LPAA into your practice? Check out AphasiaAccess, a group dedicated to providing support to clinicians and that focuses on LPAA as a guiding principle.

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