General Dos and Don’ts when communicating with stroke survivors:
- Make sure you have the person's attention before communicating.
- During conversation, minimize or eliminate background noise (such as television, radio, and other people) as much as possible.
- Keep communication simple but adult. Simplify your own sentence structure and reduce your own rate of speech. You don't need to speak louder than normal but do emphasize key words. Don't talk down to the person with aphasia.
- Encourage and use other modes of communication (writing, drawing, yes/no responses, choices, gestures, eye contact, facial expressions) in addition to speech.
- Give them time to talk and let them have a reasonable amount of time to respond. Avoid speaking for the person with aphasia except when necessary and ask permission before doing so.
- Praise all attempts to speak; make speaking a pleasant experience and provide stimulating conversation. Downplay errors and avoid frequent criticisms/corrections. Avoid insisting that each word be produced perfectly.
- Augment speech with gesture and visual aids whenever possible. Repeat a statement when necessary.
- Encourage them to be as independent as possible. Avoid being overprotective.
- Whenever possible continue normal activities (such as dinner with family, company, going out). Do not shield people with aphasia from family or friends or ignore them in a group conversation. Rather, try to involve them in family decision-making as much as possible. Keep them informed of events but avoid burdening them with day to day details.
-National Aphasia Association, 2013
Professional Website Links:
National Aphasia Association http://www.aphasia.org/
American Stroke Association http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/
National Stroke Association http://www.stroke.org/site/PageNavigator/HOME
Aphasia Hope Foundation http://www.aphasiahope.org/
American Speech-Language Hearing Association http://asha.org/public/
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke http://www.ninds.nih.gov/
Aphasia Support Group Blog http://aphasiasupportgroup.blogspot.com/
Dr. G.N. Rangamani, Ph. D., CCC-SLP, BC-ANCDS
Jodel Page, M.S. CCC-SLP
Call 320-308-2092 for additional information or to request an appointment.
You can also contact us through mail:
103 Brown Hall
St. Cloud State University
720 Fourth Avenue South
St. Cloud, Minnesota 56301-4498