Aphasia and Strategies to Improve Communication 

Older couple smiling for a photo

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. 

Communication Strategies 

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.

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