Tips On Communicating Effectively with Someone Who Has Aphasia

news-freedom-elder-care-new-jersey-communication-aphasia-stroke-patientEveryone longs to communicate and connect with others. But for those who have been diagnosed with Aphasia, a condition that affects a person’s ability to communicate via speech, engaging with others can be very difficult,frustrating and, at times, isolating.

It’s true that there are many ways to communicate without speaking. However, the spoken word continues to be a primary way for people to share their thoughts, express their emotions, as well as show their love and appreciation for others.

Fortunately, there are great resources available to help those with language disorders – and their loved ones. From augmentative communication devices to basic communication tips, engaging in meaningful conversations doesn’t have to be a thing of the past.

If a friend or loved one has a language disorder, the National Institutes of Health recommends some simple steps to improve communication.

  • Turn off all electronic devices to avoid distractions
  • Move to a quiet room
  • Make eye contact
  • Breakdown instructions into small, simple steps
  • Enunciate your words and speak slowly
  • Allow time for the individual to comprehend
  • Try to ask primarily yes-or-no questions and don’t interrupt
  • Use visual aids and hand gestures, when applicable
  • Don’t completely shelter your loved ones – take them out in public so they become more confident communicating and understanding real-life situations
  • Limit the number of people in a conversation

Conversations are a two-way street, and allowing someone with a language disorder to be an active participant in the process can be beneficial for everyone. It may require a bit of patience, but the payoff will be worth it.

“Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.” ‒Oliver Wendell Holmes