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Burke Rehabilitation intensive aphasia program accelerates communication gains

Aphasia is a language disorder that impacts the ability to speak, read, write and understand words. It can develop from stroke (affecting an estimated 30% or more of all stroke survivors), brain injury or neurological disorders and can have an impact on basic interpersonal communication, and on maintaining relationships and employment. Burke Rehabilitation offers the only intensive comprehensive aphasia program in Westchester County. The Burke ICAP can help participants make substantial language gains months or even years post-diagnosis.

Burke runs each ICAP five days per week, four hours a day throughout a single month in small groups of four to six individuals. The program offers daily intensive language exercises along with complementary therapies such as neurologic music therapy, occupational therapy and canine therapy, all of which maintain a language-based focus. The ICAP also uses neurocognitive apps on iPads to address individual language goals. In addition, a Burke clinical social worker facilitates a weekly Caregiver Support Group to provide coping strategies for loved ones. The Burke ICAP is designed for individuals who have already received individual speech therapy and are ready for an intensive group approach.

Using the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association’s Quality of Communication Life Scale, a self-rating scale of quality of life and communication for adults with communication disorders, all June and October 2023 ICAP participants showed substantive improvements in self-ratings of their communication and quality of life. Using the standardized Western Aphasia Battery-Revised assessment, used to assess competence across multiple linguistic domains, participants who completed the June and October 2023 ICAPs showed clinically meaningful and/or statistically significant language improvement.

This program is generously supported by Burke benefactors Barbara and Steven Kessler.

For more information about the ICAP program, contact Susan Wortman-Jutt, MS, CCC-SLP, senior speech-language pathologist, at swortmanju@burke.org.