AAC and Aphasia, how CoughDrop can help

CoughDrop AAC Dec 1, 2016

It usually starts with a Stroke.

A debilitating blockage or rupture of blood vessels in the brain -- that’s the main cause.

But it isn’t the only beginning place for aphasia. Aphasia can stem from brain infection, traumatic brain injury, TIA, dementia, tumor, progressive brain disorder, and even from a severe migraine.

Aphasia, a communication disorder that results from damage to the part of the brain that controls language, often affects adults leaving them trapped without a way to clearly communicate their needs and feelings.

Sometimes, augmentative communication, like CoughDrop, can give people a boost when their words get lost. Here are some specific ways CoughDrop can help life with aphasia become a little more vocal.

  1. Not to sound overly simple, but CoughDrop is an AAC app so it is designed to vocalize speech for a person when he or she is not able to speak out loud. Because aphasia often disrupts a person’s speech (whether temporarily or permanently, severely or only slightly) CoughDrop can step in to give that person a voice while theirs is unavailable.

  2. CoughDrop is cloud-based can run on nearly ANY device. This means that if an aphasia sufferer has a Kindle, a Nook, an iPad, or an Android tablet they are used to working with, they don’t have to try to learn a new device in order to have access to communication. Just load the CoughDrop app onto their laptop, chromebook, or mobile device and their substitute voice will be ready to go.

  3. It is not unusual for those suffering from aphasia to experience problems with motor skills as well. Because CoughDrop boards are fully customizable, you can program one word or an entire sentence onto any one button. Rather than expecting someone to hit each of four buttons to say “I” “want” “a” “drink” caregivers can program common or needed phrases onto a board so that a person can communicate their need with only one button press.

  4. Learning to speak using AAC takes practice, so being able to use CoughDrop speech boards on several devices means that caregivers can model use of words and phrases on their own device so they never have to take away the voice of the person who needs it most. Letting a person see where and how to access words and phrases helps them become more independent and capable.

  5. Having a voice available through AAC may give aphasia sufferers options to expand their freedoms. Consider making a voice assistant like Amazon Echo or Google Home accessible using voice commands from the CoughDrop app. CoughDrop can speak directions and the voice assistant can execute them.

  6. Not all aphasia lasts forever. Sometimes it hangs around for a few weeks or months, sometimes longer. But purchasing an expensive AAC program may not be the right fit when aphasia is involved. That’s one reason CoughDrop offers a month-to-month payment option so that users can keep access to the program while they need it and cancel when they don’t.

For more information about AAC and aphasia, take a look at these resources:

5 Things People Don’t Understand about AAC for aphasia

Aphasia and AAC

ASHA on aphasia

Melissa DeMoux

Former CoughDrop Director of Marketing and Support -- worked with AAC communicators & teams