Aphasia and Strategies to Improve Communication
Written by Meaghan Arnold M.A. CCC-SLP
What is Aphasia
Aphasia is a communication disorder affecting speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension. It can affect anyone at any age and is caused by an injury to the brain, most commonly a stroke.
Severity of deficits
Aphasia can range from mild to severe and can negatively affect a person’s ability to communicate basic wants and needs, participate in daily activities, and cause a declining quality of life.
For individuals with aphasia, these strategies can improve communication and word-finding skills
- If you are having difficulty thinking of a word, try describing it
- Think of a word that has a similar meaning
- Think about what you want to say before you say it
- Take it slow; allow the brain an additional few seconds to search for the word
- Write out a keyword or phrase
- Use gestures or point
Strategies for loved ones and family members
- Give your loved one extra time to respond
- Refrain from finishing their sentences or providing the target word they are searching for
- Turn off background noises and eliminate distractions
- Speak slowly and clearly
- Make a list of names of important people for your loved one to access quickly
- Label commonly used objects around the house to provide your loved one with a visual for assistance
At SSNR, we use individualized, evidence-based therapy to help you or a loved one communicate more effectively and efficiently.