Advanced technology and skilled clinicians results in enhanced communication skills

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Taking a page from a learning tool used in many schools, speech-language pathologists (SLPs) at St. Joseph’s Parkwood Hospital are using SMART boards to help patients improve their cognitive and social communication skills.

“We are one of the first hospitals to use SMART boards to support our therapeutic work with adults,” says SLP Penny Welch-West. “We’re excited about this new concept and our energy is transmitting to patients.”

The SMART board’s sophisticated technical features are a boon to clinicians working with those who are visually impaired, hard of hearing or who find it challenging to focus. Patients’ orientation to date, time and place are coached through features such as web access to The Weather Network, and cognitive-communication skills such as organizing and word finding are improved through interactive puzzles and other skill building features. Social skills are reinforced when patients take turns giving answers and respect the input of other patients and facilitators.

“The SMART board is a dynamic tool that brings an element of play to therapy,” says SLP Anna Maria Koo. “Patients are enjoying the interactive, instant feedback.”