Aphasia and Communication Do’s and Don’ts

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Aphasia and Communication Do’s and Don’ts

Communicating with one who has Aphasia might seem like trying to drive away while hitting the brakes and gas at the same time. Aphasia.org has resources that may help support those with living the challenges of understanding the impairment of a loved one’s speech, gestures, and writing.

At Hanson Services Inc., we see Aphasia in many forms, with no two the same. Whether it comes with a stroke, Alzheimer’s, head injury or other causes, we strive to keep our clients connected and engaged with those around them. Often, the same person who today may not be able to clearly state what he or she wants to eat, only months ago lead major companies, communities, or organizations. Patience and respect are essential in our relationships with them. Creativity is also essential. Sometimes pictures and photos work better than words, or letter tiles in a pie pan spell a word when speech isn’t possible. When frustration escalates, a simple hug is our most powerful communication tool. The knowledge that we care and we want to help make life better is the message that is most easily conveyed and gratefully received.


The following are a list of Do’s and Don’ts from Aphasia.org

  1. Make sure you have the person’s full attention before you communicate.
  2. Eliminate or minimize background noise. Turn off the television or radio.
  3. Keep the conversation simple but adult, without “talking down,” and emphasize key phrases without shouting.
  4. Look for other modes of communication like pictures, drawings, gestures and  “yes/no” questions. Be willing to repeat information.
  5. Encourage and praise attempts to talk, and give them time to talk. Only speak for them when absolutely necessary, or with their permission.
  6. Include them in regular activities, and conversations. Don’t “shield” them from others. Include them in decision making and day to day events without overburdening them with too much detail.


 More information on Aphasia

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