Getting Started: Practical Tips For Communicating
- Make a mini photo album with pictures of family members, friends, and places. Use it when you start a new topic. The person with aphasia can also use it to let you know who he is thinking about.
- Offer choices. For example, “Do you want orange juice or apple juice?” “Do you want to wear the red shirt or the blue shirt?”
- Ask “yes no” questions. “Do you want orange juice?”; “Do you want apple juice?”
- When talking about things that are not in the here and now, use pictures or quick drawings if possible.
- Point and use gestures to supplement words.
Tips For Talking
- Allow extra time to talk.
- Noise can make it harder to listen.
– Turn off the TV, radio, CD player.
– Sit away from the air conditioner, washing machine, dish washer.
Don’t try to talk in the car or on the street.
- Use photos or simple drawings to orient the person to the topic.
- Don’t be a fast talker. Talk at a relaxed rate of speech.
- Use short, simple sentences. Say one idea at a time.
- Don’t use baby talk or talk down to them.
People with aphasia are still adults, with adult intelligence and interests.
- Write down “key words’, the most important ideas in the discussion.
- Check frequently to see if everyone understands.
- If one of you doesn’t understand, try to it another way. Be flexible.
- Remember that it can be frustrating for everyone. Try to stay calm, and keep
your sense of humor!