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8 tips for communicating with people with brain injury, aphasia and more

Constant Therapy | Traumatic brain injury, Stroke, Aphasia

Often when people suffer from any type of communication disorder, like aphasia, conversation and social connections disappear.  Our blog post provides  tips to make conversing with friends and loved ones who have communication disorders easier for all involved!

Communication disorders can be extremely socially isolating, as our socialization across cultures revolves around language.  When language is affected, whether from birth or later in life, social contact and relationships can be affected.  But just because someone has a communication disorder, like aphasia, does not mean that they are any less deserving of, or capable of making social connections.

Here we’ve provided 8 tricks and tips to help you communicate with someone with a communication disorder:

  1. Remember – intellect and communication are NOT one and the same.  There are of course some disorders and diseases that affect both intellect and communication, but your assumption going into a conversation with someone with a communication disorder should be that their intellect is PRESERVED.  If you take one thing home from this blog, please take this tip home!!
  2. Be patient!  If someone is having trouble getting across their point, give them time to think about it!
  3. Be honest – if you don’t understand, ask for clarification!  Your communication partner deserves to be able to get their point across.
  4. Slow down!  Language is complicated, and sometimes an extra few seconds to process can be just what someone with a communication disorder needs to make sense of what you’re saying.
  5. If it seems that your communication partner is having trouble, ask if it would be helpful to repeat or rephrase your message.  But don’t assume that’s what they need!  Persons with communication disorders often know exactly what they need from you in order to better understand.  By offering to repeat or rephrase, you are opening the door for your partner to ask you to modify your communication style to better help them understand, in whatever way they need.
  6. Make sure your communication partner can see your facial expressions and gestures.  Theses are key parts of language, but are not always affected by communication disorders.  We can communicate a plethora of information just using a smile or a furrowed brow.
  7. Laugh, cry, sigh – communication is our way of sharing our feelings and emotions, and can be extraordinarily therapeutic!  Don’t be afraid to show emotion!
  8. In whatever way you can, let your communication partner know that you care about them and value their input, thoughts, and feelings.  Sometimes we don’t even need language to do that – sometimes just the experience of conversing, whether you’re using words or not, can provide that social connection that we all so crave.

Do you know someone with a communication disorder? Constant Therapy has a treasure trove of tasks that can improve communication skills.We’ll even provide a quick pre-test to determine which tasks would most help you to improve your cognitive and language functions, and a variety of tasks to assist in your recovery.

Get started on your or your loved one’s stroke therapy or traumatic brain injury rehabilitation today by downloading Constant Therapy for FREE today!

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