This blog has been updated from July 2020 to include new resources provided from The Stroke Association to help individuals with acquired language or cognitive deficits get back online.
It has been approximately a year since the onset of the global pandemic known as Covid-19, which has drastically changed our daily routines. There have been restrictions on where we can go, who we can see, and how long we can be there. This applies to businesses, physician and therapy appointments, even time with family. These challenges have significantly impacted how we socialize and structure our daily routines, increasing the risk to our well-being and emotional health.
Staying connected to family, friends, neighbors, or even community groups is more important now than it has ever been. It’s easy to feel isolated when you can’t meet with people you typically communicate with on a regular basis.
We’ve seen an increase in the use of video-conferencing software (e.g., Skype, Zoom) over the past few months in schools, businesses, news reports, hospitals, and therapy practices. People are also using such software to chat with family, friends, and even community groups. Doing so helps bring a sense of normalcy to an otherwise atypical and unprecedented situation.
But what about people who struggle with following instructions, or understanding how to set up video-conferencing software? There are many individuals who have long-standing or new challenges with information processing, comprehension, or even problem solving who may struggle with shifting through all the content needed to set up an account. If you have trouble merely downloading video-conferencing software or logging in to a site, how motivated will you be to actually go forward with using it regularly to connect with others? For some, the effort may outweigh the benefits.
The Stroke Association has developed great resources throughout the course of the pandemic to help clinicians, patients, and caregivers of individuals with language or cognitive challenges get back online and stay connected. Here are a few:
If you or someone you know could benefit from social reconnection, but requires structured guidance, these could be great resources to start with. You can provide the visual and written support while also addressing problem solving, attention to detail, recall of steps, understanding of instructions, and many other language and cognitive skills. Have you used these resources or something similar? What was your experience? Leave a comment below!
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Devon Brunson, MS, CCC-SLP, CBIS
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