A common treatment for aphasia of all severities, including mild aphasia, is semantic feature analysis. This treatment helps a person with aphasia to strengthen word connections, with the goal of making those words easier to retrieve. It usually involves naming and describing WORDS, so it is a ‘word retrieval’ therapy.
During this treatment, the person with aphasia fills in a “feature analysis chart”. Objects have six features: category, action, use, location, properties, and associations. Actions have these six features: subject, purpose of action, part of body or tool used to carry out the action, description, usual location and associated objects or actions (Efstratiadou et al, 2018).
Usually, the person with aphasia is shown a picture of a single object or action, and they fill in the feature chart to describe it’s features. In mild aphasia, the treatment can be modified so that the person with aphasia is asked to describe a picture scene or tell a procedure. They then use use semantic feature analysis to address any word retrieval problems that happen during this talking. We call this semantic feature analysis within discourse.
Another word retrieval treatment involves phonological and orthographic cueing. This sounds fancy, but it simply means that we use the first sound, letter, or syllable in a word to help a person with aphasia to retrieve it. So if the person was trying to say ‘rubbish’ we could say ‘r’, write ‘r’, or say/write ‘rub___’.
In mild aphasia, this treatment can be modified. The person with aphasia describes a picture or has a conversation on a topic that interests them. These tasks should includes words that the person with aphasia would like to treat. When word retrieval problems occur, sound and letter cues are used to help retrieve the word.