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Rehabilitation of a case of pure alexia: Exploiting residual abilities

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 November 1998

LYNN M. MAHER
Affiliation:
Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
M. CATHERINE CLAYTON
Affiliation:
Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
ANNA M. BARRETT
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology and the Center for Neuropsychological Studies, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL
DEBRA SCHOBER-PETERSON
Affiliation:
Department of Educational Psychology and Special Education, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
LESLIE J. GONZALEZ ROTHI
Affiliation:
Department of Neurology and the Center for Neuropsychological Studies, University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, FL Audiology-Speech Pathology Service, VA Medical Center, Gainesville, FL

Abstract

We present a case study of a 43-year-old woman with chronic and stable pure alexia. Using a multiple baseline design we report the results of two different interventions to improve reading. First, a restitutive treatment approach using an implicit semantic access strategy was attempted. This approach was designed to exploit privileged access to lexical–semantic representations and met with little success. Treatment was then switched to a substitutive treatment strategy, which involved using the patient's finger to pretend to copy the letters in words and sentences. Reading using this motor cross-cuing strategy was 100% accurate and doubled in speed after 4 weeks of intervention. We propose that this patient's inability to benefit from the implicit semantic access treatment approach may be in part related to her inability to suppress the segmental letter identification process of word recognition. (JINS, 1998, 4, 636–647.)

Type
THEMATIC ARTICLES
Copyright
© 1998 The International Neuropsychological Society

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