Article  |   October 2008
Multidisciplinary Evidence to Treat Bilingual Individuals with Aphasia
Author Affiliations
  • José G. Centeno
    St. John’s University, Queens, NY
Article Information
Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Language Disorders / Aphasia
Article   |   October 2008
Multidisciplinary Evidence to Treat Bilingual Individuals with Aphasia
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, October 2008, Vol. 15, 66-72. doi:10.1044/cds15.3.66
Perspectives on Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations, October 2008, Vol. 15, 66-72. doi:10.1044/cds15.3.66
Abstract:

Abstract  The steady increase in linguistic and cultural diversity in the country, including the number of bilingual speakers, has been predicted to continue. Minorities are expected to be the majority by 2042. Strokes, the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of long-term disability in the U.S., are quite prevalent in racial and ethnic minorities, so population estimates underscore the imperative need to develop valid clinical procedures to serve the predicted increase in linguistically and culturally diverse bilingual adults with aphasia in post-stroke rehabilitation. Bilingualism is a complex phenomenon that interconnects culture, cognition, and language; thus, as aphasia is a social phenomenon, treatment of bilingual aphasic persons would benefit from conceptual frameworks that exploit the culture-cognition-language interaction in ways that maximize both linguistic and communicative improvement leading to social re-adaptation. This paper discusses a multidisciplinary evidence-based approach to develop ecologically-valid treatment strategies for bilingual aphasic individuals. Content aims to spark practitioners' interest to explore conceptually broad intervention strategies beyond strictly linguistic domains that would facilitate linguistic gains, communicative interactions, and social functioning. This paper largely emphasizes Spanish-English individuals in the United States. Practitioners, however, are advised to adapt the proposed principles to the unique backgrounds of other bilingual aphasic clients.

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