Tips for Talking

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”.
    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!