Skip to main content
The Tavistock Trust For Aphasia

The Aphasia Alliance


Conversations with people with aphasia

  • 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)
  • allow time for rests


Go back to the top tips page

Privacy & Cookies | Top of page