Stroke and traumatic brain injury survivors, as well as victims of degenerative neurological condition and students with language-based learning disorders can now immerse themselves in a new TWIST to speech therapy.

Maryland speech-language pathologist Joan Green, MA, CCC-SLP, founded Innovative Speech Therapy (IST), an expanded, high-tech, outpatient speech therapy center in Potomac, Md, and offers a new program called Technology with Innovative Speech Therapy (TWIST).

Green, a 20-year veteran speech therapist, says, TWIST provides hope and empowers people to jumpstart rehabilitation and education efforts while saving time and money in the process even after discharge from other speech therapy programs.

The TWIST program is among the first speech-language therapy programs to integrate computers and technology into an intensive rehabilitation program, the company reports. TWIST features 18 hours of intensive individualized speech therapy that specifically defines a patients communication and cognitive strengths and weaknesses. It then matches those strengths and weaknesses with advanced computer software, adaptive hardware, and other helpful devices and resources, along with more traditional techniques.

Goals of the program include maximizing participants abilities to communicate with friends and family, talk on the phone, read the paper, send e-mail messages, organize their home and work environments, succeed in school and at work, and participate in recreational and social activities.

Consumers deserve to be exposed to this information, but they need a qualified, computer-savvy communication specialist to figure out what is best to use and how to use it, Green says. Everyone has different needs and challenges, and will benefit from different resources. My profession has been challenged to rethink the way speech therapy is provided. Appropriate technology use empowers individuals to become strong self-advocates and to become more independent.

[SOURCE: PR Leap, June 2006]