Unable to write: therapy using preserved oral spelling and the keyboard

Susan Starr, Erin Klein, Lyndsey Nickels

    Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting abstract


    This paper describes a single case treatment study of RPH a person with aphasia and severe impairments in writing. RPH was often able to accurately orally spell words despite being unable to write them down. Lesser (1989, 1990) and Pound (1996) have also reported cases where subjects have had preserved oral spelling (see Ward, 2003, for a review). Both authors used preserved oral spelling in therapy to aid their subject’s writing skills. RPH’s writing was first assessed using a number of language tests to determine his level of breakdown. A therapy program was then devised that aimed to improve RPH’s writing by capitalising on his strong oral spelling skills. Therapy consisted of RPH spelling words orally and then typing the word, letter by letter, on the keyboard. As therapy progressed, targets were increased in difficulty, that is, from simple 3-letter words to long-letter words. The outcome of therapy was evaluated by comparing the accuracy, before and after the treatment, of writing words not used in treatment. We will discuss the results and implications of this study and the lessons learned.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)272-273
    Number of pages2
    JournalBrain impairment : abstracts from Aphasiology Symposium of Australia
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2006
    EventAphasiology Symposium of Australia - Sydney
    Duration: 30 Nov 20061 Dec 2006


    • neurogenic communication disorders
    • written communication
    • phonetic spelling


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