Working with Aphasia? How Bird Songs Can Help!

Aphasia is a common disorder resulting from a stroke that impairs a person’s ability to produce and understand language. Speech therapists often work with a person on verbal fluency and verbal memory skills, which are needed for language. However, many people overlook the need to work on auditory processing skills with individuals that have aphasia. For people with aphasia, they may have difficulty with one or more cognitive areas, such as auditory processing. This includes cognitive functions such as processing speed, working memory, verbal memory, and semantic processing.  

Testing Auditory Processing

How can someone with aphasia work on auditory processing? One way is by using digital cognitive therapy tools that offer auditory processing exercises. HappyNeuron Pro, a digital cognitive therapy tool from France, offers exercises that therapists can use to work with their patients on auditory processing skills. These tools aim to assist patients with all types of cognitive skills. One popular exercise that can be used to help patients with aphasia with auditory processing is an exercise called Bird Songs.

How and why is Bird Songs utilized to develop a patient’s auditory processing skills you may ask? This exercise tests auditory processing skills along with visual and verbal memory. Patients are presented with pictures and names of birds while their unique calls are played simultaneously. Once the patient has seen and heard all of the birds, they are then asked to recall the name, picture, and song of the birds they have memorized. For an added challenge, you can have your patient practice saying the names of the birds out loud they have memorized to work in speech production. 

Goals of the Exercise

Functionally, this exercise will help your patient recall the names, appearance, and sounds of stimuli in their environment. Your patient will need to be able to do this when they are participating in a work meeting or conversation with a group of people, when they watch a movie or a show as they keep track of different characters within a scene, and being able to recognize sources of different sounds present in their environment such as fire truck sirens. This exercise is beneficial for all aspects of social interactions, both personal and professional. Because this exercise provides language, visual, and auditory elements, this makes it an excellent exercise to work on a variety of cognitive skills that patients with aphasia often struggle with.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Bird Songs offers an opportunity to work on key cognitive skills – verbal memory, visual memory, and auditory processing. For an additional challenge, therapists can instruct their patients to say the names of the birds they have to memorize out loud to help their patients practice speech production. By working on these skills using Bird Songs, therapists can help their patients better recall the names, appearance, and sounds of stimuli in their environment, which can translate into their daily lives such as being able to keep track of different speakers within a meeting or during a movie. 

Want to try this exercise with your patients? Sign up for a free trial of HappyNeuron Pro and set your patients up with exercise plans that include Bird Songs.

Dustin Luchmee

Dustin is HappyNeuron Pro's Product Specialist. With research experience in stroke, Dustin learned how a stroke can change someone's life. He also learned how different kinds of therapists can work together to help a person get better. He is passionate about neuro-rehabilitation and finding the active ingredients for effective therapy.

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