Saturday, April 3, 2010

Tips for Communicating with a Person with Aphasia

When your loved one is finally home again, you may need help in communicating with them. I know you have probably heard this a thousand times, but Aphasia does not affect intellect. Your loved one is the same person. They are just challenged when trying to express themselves.

Here are a few tips that may help you communicate easier:
  • Minimize distractions as much as possible. Don't try to talk over a blaring television. Don't try to have a conversation in a room full of people when hearing or concentrating may be a challenge.
  • Encourage any and all types of communication. Whether the communication is speaking, gestures, pointing, grunting, etc., let the person communicate. Be ready to adapt to their needs at the moment.
  • Be generous with your praise. Let the person know they are doing a good job and that you understand them. Avoid the urge to correct their speech.
  • Include the Aphasic person in your conversation. If the person has expressive aphasia, they understand every word you speak. Do not ignore them - include them. Let them know you want to communicate.
  • Allow the individual extra time to talk. An individual with Aphasia may need 2 to 3 times as long to communicate. Give them time. Let them finish.

These are simple techniques, but so easy to forget. Practicing these simple techniques can make a huge difference in the life of a person recovering from Aphasia.