Computerised aids make writing easier for aphasics

February 4th, 2009 - 4:53 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 4 (IANS) There is some hope for aphasics who have virtually lost the capacity to speak, read or write, even though their intellectual ability remains intact, after a stroke or head injury sustained in road accidents.Their writing skills can now be potentially helped with computerised aids, according to doctoral study conducted by language pathologist Ingrid Behrns from the Sahlgrenska Academy of the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

The condition is known as aphasia, which affects older persons more often than younger, including 12,000 Swedes every year. Aphasics were trained in the use of computerised writing aids on which Behrns’ thesis is based.

The subjects were aided by a computer-based spell-checker and a programme for word prediction, similar to that used when writing SMS messages on cell phones. The thesis shows that writing ability improved in several ways with the aid of these programmes.

“A fairly high reading and writing ability is necessary in order to benefit from the most common spell-checkers. So we used two writing aids that have been specially developed for persons with dyslexia.”

“These programmes were also useful for persons who have writing problems arising from aphasia,” said Behrns, according to a University of Gothenburg release.

“The programmes are easy to use and cheap to purchase, and may be beneficial for many people who have aphasia,” she said.

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