Suggestions for Professionals

As a clinical tool, workbook exercises can be used for analyzing an individual’s abilities. The approach to an exercise, the time taken, whether words are read aloud or silently, whether every word or only key words are considered, the error types, impulsivity, concentration, visual orientation, what is not completed or added to, and so on, provide valuable information from which functional strategies to aid the individual can be developed.

When pages are assigned as a supplement for outside of clinical treatment time, you can learn from the patient and caregiver how and when and with what attitude the supplemental work is handled. This can provide even more information about the patient’s daily environment, home life if appropriate, motivation, independence, and the caregiver’s involvement and understanding of the problems and process. This information will help your planning and patient/ /family education.

We encourage you to modify any exercise in order to meet the needs of you and your patients. Use your creativity to expand the use of any product.

We have listed some ideas and suggestions that we find helpful to maximize the usefulness of workbooks.  “You” refers to the professional and “he/him / patient” to the patient / client / end user.

  • Give him a personal copy of this workbook during their rehabilitation to enhance his ability to follow through with treatment tasks and compensatory strategies. We identify exercises that reinforce the goals addressed in treatment and assign these pages for completion prior to the next session. These assignments can be written on the Assignments sheet in the front of the workbook. You can also reinforce strategies you are working on by listing them on the Strategies page.
  • When used as an adjunct to treatment, provide guidance to a caregiver on variables such as how to help the user when he is stuck, how to let him do it independently, how to assist him but not answer, how to minimize background noise levels, how to recognize overload, to record the time needed, etc.
  • Encourage the “best guess” or “first impression” approach as often this will elicit a correct response even though he is not fully “reading” all of the text.
    On questions that have multiple choices, omit one or two as needed. Or, when appropriate, ask for multiple answers.
  • Especially with those in the acute stage of their recovery when improvements can be faster, it is helpful to date pages as they are completed. These can be used as a solid reminder of how far they have come.
  • Workbooks have great adaptability as clinical tools for auditory comprehension drills, word retrieval, oral reading and for use in groups. They can also be easily used or adapted for work with apraxia, dysarthria, fluency, articulation, foreign accent reduction, autism spectrum disorders, dementia.
  • Most written exercises can be easily adapted to meet the needs of a verbal or auditory task. This is accomplished by reading to him or have him read it aloud. His responses can also be in written or verbal form.
  • Use the Contents as a way to identify a specific target area to be focused on during treatment. It helps if you are familiar with the entire book so you can move around and pick appropriate exercises from different sections.
  • Try a few questions from each target area (diagnostic page in Sourcebook) to find the easier ones. We have found that patients often do better with certain presentations than others with essentially the same level and type of stimuli. Each target area (tabbed divider) gives you many ways to address the content.
  • Use the exercises as part of identifying a diagnostic hierarchy or giving suggestions for strategies that you can observe in your patient.  For example, in some cases, answer choices fall into either visually similar, semantically similar, or unrelated.
  • Note these differences and the patient’s response to each. Another example may be that the patient needs a reminder such as a red line down the left side of the page to remind him to scan back to the left side of the page so he won’t miss information.
  • Rather than explaining the directions for each task, allow patients to read the directions and example as a way to practice comprehension and retention skills by using strategies learned throughout their treatment program.
  • Allow patients to work through any examples as a way of assessing their ability to complete the remainder of the exercises. At that time you can either increase or decrease the complexity depending on your patient’s response or skip to another exercise.
  • We often find that having patients note the start and completion time of an exercise helps them monitor their processing time. This helps with creating self-monitoring skills to manage impulsivity. It also shows the patient’s improvement with speed of processing.
  • Once an exercise has been completed, you can reassign the exercise at a later date to allow the patient to edit and elaborate on the original response using more complex and flexible thought processes. By providing the patient with his original response he can then compare and celebrate his successes.
  • Encourage him to compare his answers with the Selected Answer Key located in the back of the book and to figure out why a mistake may have occurred. It should be taken into consideration that many items can have a number of reasonable answers.
  • Use of this workbook as a home program has additional benefits such as increasing self-direction, reinforcing a sense of accomplishment, confidence, and motivation for greater independence with communication skills. It also frees up time in the treatment session to work on other functional goals that are not conducive to a workbook format.
  • The inclusion of families and caregivers in home programming is paramount for a successful recovery. In our facility, families and caregivers take an active role in the rehabilitation process. They observe and participate in the use of this workbook facilitated by the speech-language pathologist and then are given workbook exercises to mirror the communication interactions in their home and social environments.
  • Many users may need to choose among answers as opposed to generating an answer on their own. If a workbook exercise is open-ended and you need choices, we suggest you write answer choices on another sheet of paper that can be placed next to the workbook. This adds an element of difficulty and also gives you a sheet that can be copied and used again with others.
  • We usually assign pages that we feel a patient can just handle independently. We rely on feedback from the caregiver as to how he was or was not able to complete the pages and other factors such as the time it took, the frustration level, pacing, success and interest.