Communication Tips

Below are some helpful suggestions on how to communicate with someone who has aphasia.

Remember, each person with aphasia is different so some of these tips may be work while others may not.

How To Help A Person With Aphasia Understand Others:

1) Reduce background noise:
2) Speak slowly and simply:
3) Have a pen and paper handy:
4) Give the person with aphasia lots of time to respond:

How to help a person with aphasia express themselves:

1) Acknowledge when you don’t understand the person with aphasia.
2) Ask the person with aphasia to say it another way, or suggest that they use a different communication mode:
  • gesture
  • point
  • write
  • draw
  • use a communication book
Be open to all communication modalities. Remember that the goal is to understand the message, not to get perfect speech.
3) Ask simple yes/no questions, or ask questions and then provide simple, possible choices.
4) If you hit a roadblock, it’s OK to ask if you can drop it and come back to the conversation later.
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