Top tips for communication partners

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  • Avoid background noise where possible
  • Make eye contact with the person
  • Speak clearly
  • Speak at a normal speed, not too fast, not too slow (If you speak fast normally, slow down)
  • Use short clear sentences – give one piece of information at a time
  • Ask one question at a time – Do you want tea? Do you want coffee?
  • Don’t rush – allow time for the person to take in what you are saying
  • Be patient – give the person with aphasia space to respond at their pace
  • Signal a change of topic
  • Use facial expression, tone of voice, pointing and gesture to help explain what you are talking about
  • Have paper and pen available for both parties
  • Write down key words
  • Use maps, calendars and photos (e.g. family members) to show what you are talking about
  • Encourage the person to communicate in any way he/she can
  • Encourage the person to let you know when they have not understood
  • Clarify – and rephrase when necessary
  • Listen to and watch for clues in facial responses, tone of voice, pointing and gestures (non-verbal responses)


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