The pandemic may mean staying distant and staying home, but it doesn’t mean your aphasia recovery has to stop. The University of Michigan Aphasia Program is inviting Michigan residents to continue the work through a new program: the UMAP virtual Intensive, Comprehensive Aphasia Program (ICAP).
What is Included in the New Virtual Intensive, Comprehensive Aphasia Program?
The intensive and individualized aphasia therapy model that established the U-M Aphasia Program as a pioneer in aphasia treatment is now available to clients in Michigan without leaving home. The online optimized version of the U-M Aphasia Program offers the hallmarks of our in-person ICAP, including:
- Intensive and individualized approach to aphasia therapy: we make sure the program is tailored to the person with aphasia as well as their loved ones and care partners.
- An initial assessment if the person has not previously taken part in UMAP therapy.
- 15 hours a week with both individual and group therapy modes. Groups will meet for approximately 2 hours per week with 13 or more hours of individual therapy provided by a senior, licensed Speech Language Pathologist.
- Additional social opportunities to interact with others with aphasia and care partners in a more relaxed atmosphere.
- Sessions from a minimum of two weeks and up to a maximum of six weeks, with the option of individual therapy to continue progress after.
- Adjusted costs, with additional financial assistance options available.
- Currently only open to Michigan residents, but let us know if you are interested in attending from another state, and we will work on options for those outside of Michigan.
“While the online program is not as intensive as the in-person experience and some of the social aspects may be different, we have developed a version that best takes advantage of the virtual setting,” said Carol Persad, Ph.D, director of the U-M Aphasia Program and the University Center for Language and Literacy. “It also will allow for different clients to access the program who might not have otherwise been able to attend.”
How was the Program Developed?
The program was created to address the increasing need for remote therapy, but has also been on the UMAP list of priorities as tools for virtual therapy have been developed and vetted. After perfecting the intensive and individualized model for more than 80 years combined with providing teletherapy for several years, UMAP clinicians have optimized a virtual approach that offers the best of both worlds.
“We have set an informed schedule that offers intensity, individualized therapy, and aspects of the Life Participation Approach to Aphasia (LPAA), which we know from extensive research are crucial to aphasia recovery,” said Dr. Persad. “But the online program also strikes a fine balance: we have taken into account the very real fatigue that can come with online treatment and how different clients may have different levels of engagement.”
Who Should Attend the Virtual ICAP?
The online program can offer clients from Michigan who have wanted to attend the program an option to try it out before committing to an in-person session. It also offers supplemental support for clients who may be receiving regular speech therapy from their local SLP or speech center, but who have had to pause during the COVID-19 pandemic. Others could use the online intensive as a boost to restart progress that has slowed as the world has changed. UMAP clinicians work with clients to determine if the virtual environment is a good fit before starting the intensive program.
Getting Started with the New Virtual Program
The program is kicking off in August, however, start times are flexible. The cost for the program can vary, but averages to about $2300 per week for all therapy provided (15 hours). It also includes care partner education and access to U-M Aphasia Program resources.
UMAP is currently not offering in-person sessions, but we are working towards opening later this year, if possible. UMAP will continue to evaluate the risk of returning to a hybrid or in-person option as the COVID-19 situation evolves, and abide by CDC and State of Michigan guidelines and directives.
For more information or to send a referral, please call (734) 764-8440 or Contact Us.
Want to print and share this information with someone? Download the flyer: UMAP Virtual ICAP Overview (PDF)