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SentenceShaper, Useful Software for People with Aphasia

Updated on January 1, 2013

An innovative approach to aphasia software

SentenceShaper  (also written Sentence Shaper) is based on a very simple fact: people with aphasia may still know a lot about their language but their language processing is slowed way down. It takes these individuals longer to think of words, and words often vanish from memory before they can be combined with other words. They may not be able to create simple sentences.

This aphasia software taps into their hidden language abilities by "turning off the clock." The person with aphasia can record words or short phrases, play them back, and build them into sentences by manipulating icons on the computer screen. They can take as long as they need to, to do this. They can take a break and come back.The system requires no ability to read or to type in text, and can be customized for different people, and for languages other than English.

It's based on years of research, which is described and referenced on the site. Photo credits: Marcia Linebarger, inventor of the program.

How This Aphasia Software Works

This is explained more fully, with illustrations, on the website.

To record a word or phrase you use "On" and "Off" buttons, to turn the computer's sound recorder on and off. (You will need to be using a microphone in order to record your speech.)

Whatever you say while the sound recorder is on gets recorded by the program; then a "shape", a small crystal ball appears on the screen immediately.

If you click on the shape, it plays back the chunk that was just recorded. As you record different chunks, the crystal balls that show up on the screen have different designs, so you can tell them apart visually.

These shapes can be dragged up to another part of the screen to be ordered (from left to right) into sentences.

You can play back the entire sequence of shapes in this area in order to correct errors or to help yourself think of new words. Shapes can also be put into a different order in this Sentence Assembly Area, by moving them to different slots.

When you are satisfied with your sentence, you click a button to have the entire sequence moved up to another part of the screen, the "Narrative Assembly Area", where it is now represented by a single icon (which looks like a purple bean, shown in the bio box here on Squidoo).

A purple bean can be moved back from the Narrative Area to the Sentence Area, where it decomposes back into the individual shapes, which can be replaced, re-ordered, or combined with new material. An entire narrative (the ordered sequence of purple beans) can be built up in this way. As the sound files are .mp3 files, they can be emailed to family or friends, or used in many other ways.

SentenceShaper was designed to have a very simple interface with as little distraction as possible.

People with Aphasia Can Often Think...

MUCH more than others around them realize!

Using SentenceShaper gives them a tool to communicate with.

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    • mrsclaus411 profile image

      mrsclaus411 5 years ago

      Interesting lens! Found it really informative.


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