By Polly Perez
I was asked to review some of the Bungalow Aphasia Software 3 1/2 years after my stroke and resulting aphasia.
The hardest thing about starting was waiting for the software to load. Since it is very graphic intensive, it seemed to take forever.
I started with Aphasia Tutor Module 1- Words.
I started off with the word matching section. I was asked to match 70 words and I was given several choices from which to choose. The feedback was immediate. When I chose the right answer I got a verbal OK like "That's right." My favorite verbal OK was the applause. It made me laugh each time I heard it and to hear it again I kept answering the questions. Obviously, that was the software designers’ intent!
I purposely answered several items wrong to see would happen. I got an immediate response that said, "Try it again" or “That was hard, try it again."
When I completed that section I printed out my results: Attempts Needed, Hints Given, and Questions Answered Correctly. The attempts were also rated by 1,2,3, or >3
On to section two- words: picture-word matching, verb- multiple choice. I was given 58 words, which I tried to complete fast as possible. That was a mistake as I missed several, not because I didn’t know the answer, but because I was too involved in trying to answer quickly and I had not taken enough time to differentiate the subtle differences in the multiple choices. Another lesson learned!
I was given 70 nouns to match with a picture. I noticed that this section would be helpful for re-learning to spell. I made the section harder for myself by looking at the picture and saying the word out loud before looking at the multiple choices. I did note that I missed several questions by not noticing the plurals-i.e., bags not bag.
I progressed on to letter copying. This one was easy for me as I use the computer all the time. While doing this section I reflected back to the time immediately after my stroke when I couldn't figure out the difference between the lower case "a" and the upper case "A" on the computer keyboard. This section of the software would have helped me at the point in my rehabilitation.
My results on the section-Word copying- showed that I missed some letters in the middle of a word. Throughout my recovery time, and even now, I have trouble spelling the middle of some words. I can always spell the beginning AND the end of the word but the middle of the word disappears into the nether land.
I went on to Aphasia Tutor Module 2 -Sentences. I was given 74 phrases to complete with one of several choices. I did this section by memory and used the multiple choices to check my memory. Again, I reflected back to the time in my recovery when I couldn't complete the simplest phrase. This software would have been helpful with my self-imposed homework each day.
In the section on sentence completion, I was pleasantly surprised when I noticed that the software designers misspelled a word. The sentence said "netwok television" NOT “network television.” I used this as an example of how far I have come - from a woman who had only one word in her vocabulary "brank" to a woman who could pick out a misspelling in the program. Not bad for someone who was mute 3 1/2 years ago!
I was frustrated when I was writing this review to find that every time I pulled up Bungalow to check a fact I couldn't minimize the program and return to my word processing software. The only way to continue was to exit Bungalow completely. Each time I entered the program it subtracted one trial from the total even though I didn't work on the program. Oh well…
I think every hospital that treats stroke patients should have this software available! I was glad to have been asked to review this program and am wondering if they have more advanced programs that could help me still.
Editor’s note: Bungalow offers free trial of their software. Visit their site at http://bungalowsoftware.com.
Copyright © May 2002
The Stroke Network, Inc.
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