Coping and supportBy Mayo Clinic staff
People with aphasia
If you have aphasia, the following tips may help you communicate with others:
- Carry a card explaining that you have aphasia and what aphasia is.
- Carry identification and information on how to contact significant others.
- Carry a pencil and a small pad of paper with you at all times.
- Use drawings, diagrams or photos as shortcuts.
- Use gestures or point to objects.
Family and friends
Family members and friends can use the following tips when communicating with a person with aphasia:
- Simplify your sentences and slow down your pace.
- Keep conversations one-on-one initially.
- Allow the person time to talk.
- Don't finish sentences or correct errors.
- Reduce distracting noise in the environment.
- Keep paper and pencils or pens readily available.
- Write a key word or a short sentence to help explain something.
- Help the person with aphasia create a book of words, pictures and photos to assist with conversations.
- Use drawings or gestures when you aren't understood.
- Involve the person with aphasia in conversations as much as possible.
- Check for comprehension or summarize what you've discussed.
Local chapters of such organizations as the National Aphasia Association, the American Stroke Association, the American Heart Association and some medical centers may offer support groups for people with aphasia and others affected by the disorder. These groups provide people with a sense of community, a place to air frustrations and learn coping strategies. Ask your doctor or speech-language pathologist if he or she knows of any local support groups.
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- Aphasia. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic_disorders/function_and_dysfunction_of_the_cerebral_lobes/aphasia.html#v1034169. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- Aphasia. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/Aphasia.htm. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- Clark DG. Aphasia: Prognosis and treatment. http://www.uptodate.com/ index. Accessed March 7, 2012.
- Aphasia. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/voice/Pages/aphasia.aspx. Accessed March 23, 2012.
- Aphasia: Benefits of speech-language pathology services. American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. http://www.asha.org/public/speech/disorders/AphasiaSLPBenefits.htm. Accessed March 23, 2012.