Main content

    Learning About Your Health

    Speech Language Pathology: Tips for Improving Communication with Someone after a Brain Injury

    If your loved one is having a difficult time communicating, it is important for you to understand some strategies that can help.

    • Be sure she/he can see your face

    • Stand between 2 and 5 feet away

    • Be sure she/he is sitting/lying/standing in a comfortable posture

    • Reduce distractions - TV, radio, other conversations, environmental noise

    • Approach him/her on the side which he/she prefers. (Later on you can try moving to the more neglected side, encouraging him/her to maintain attention)

    • Make sure to get his/her attention before you start talking

    • Speak slowly, simply and clearly

    • Talk about subjects that are of a personal nature, or of specific interest to the person

    • Stay on one subject at a time. Avoid jumping from one topic to another

    • Use short, complete sentences

    • Pause between sentences

    • Repeat and reword or rephrase

    • Use gestures and facial expression as well as words

    • Allow time for responses. Don't rush

    • Pay attention to his/her facial expression and body language. Is he/she interested, happy, bored, upset, sad, worried or impatient?

    • Treat him/her with respect. He/she is able to understand more than his/her ability to communicate indicates. Include him/her in your conversations

    • Allow for rest periods. Reduce stimulation/activity when he/she is tired