Many aphasia treatments focus on improving language abilities through speaking, reading, and writing. However, for some people with more severe aphasia, these therapies can be too advanced. For instance, someone with global aphasia might not be able to participate in more advanced therapy techniques.

Visual Action Therapy (VAT) is a resource in cases where nonverbal therapy is more appropriate. Nonverbal means that the instructions do not use words, but rather use demonstration. It also does not require the participant to use any words. The goal of VAT is to learn to use gestures to represent items that are not present.

The training uses 12 different levels that increase in complexity to reach this goal. The program starts out at a very basic level – using a finger to trace a drawing. It then works its way through steps like picture matching and understanding a gesture for an item that is present. The final step is to produce a gesture for an item that the participant cannot see.

VAT can improve a person’s ability to gesture in order to communicate about common items. It can also improve someone’s comprehension abilities, even though comprehension is not a direct target of this therapy.

VAT is most often used for people with impaired language abilities in all modalities, such as global aphasia. VAT is unique in that it does not use language — not even to give instructions. By removing the verbal component, people with severe impairments are better able to participate.

Caregiver talking on phone with elderly love one looking on.

Lingraphica Can Help

During a free 30-minute free consultation, we’ll help you and your loved ones find exactly what you need to meet your specific communication goals.

We’ll help you to better understand your condition, offer simple strategies for communicating more effectively, and discuss communication and therapy devices and apps that can really help. Call us at 866-570-8775 or click the button below to schedule a consultation.

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Free Aphasia Communication, Therapy, and Video Apps

TalkPath Therapy

Exercises designed for practicing and rebuilding speech and language skills.

TalkPath News

An online news source designed to engage and test language comprehension.


Icon and video-based apps that help you communicate in everyday situations.

Lingraphica Can Help

We help adults with speech and language impairments to reconnect with family and friends, improve communication, and live their best lives. Call us at 866-570-8775 or visit the link below to get started.