• When it is your turn to talk, do it with respect. Do not talk down to the person because of their disability. This happens more often than you might think and most times it is done without realizing it.
  • Be aware of your words and the tone of voice you use.
  • Have patience. Give your speaking partner time to communicate. Let them complete what they have to say. Help out only if they become overly frustrated.
  • Use all types of communication. Writing, drawing, or pointing to pictures are all forms of communication. Use whatever is necessary to get the message across.
  • Try to eliminate all distractions while communicating.
  • Focus your attention on the speaker.
  • Let the speaker know when you do not understand them. Try to ask yes/no questions to figure out the part of the message you didn't understand.
  • Speak at a "normal" rate. That is, take your time while speaking. Speaking too quickly can make it difficult for an individual to follow and comprehend.
  • Simplify your speech. Simple vocabulary and short sentences work the best.
  • Use gestures or body language: Remember that your whole body is used in communicating. Do not think that it doesn't apply when communicating with someone with aphasia. In fact, in this case it might be more important.
  • Use your hands, head, shoulders - and facial expressions! Speak with passion!
  • Stick to one topic at a time. We often go off topic during our daily conversations. This is common. However, switching thoughts midstream through a story might make it difficult for an aphasic listener to follow along.
  • Use a variety of language activities at home to stimulate continued progress.
  • Make use of available resources.

 

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