Frequently Asked Questions

In practice how to communicate with an aphasic?

In practice how to communicate with an aphasic?

14h49 17/08/2018,

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Generally, loved ones feel helpless in front of the aphasic person. They ask themselves what to do and how to help them communicate, while avoiding attitudes and situations that can hinder communication.

1 - Some precautions

It is important to stay naturel in your way of being and speaking. The aphasic person should be treated as an adult, avoiding infantilization and overprotection.

Patience is also needed by allowing time to find words, and taking the time to listen to what the person wants to say.

You should not try to minimize the difficulties that the aphasic person encounters, but rather answer questions frankly and talk openly about concerns while maintaining a positive and optimistic attitude.

When discussing problems with the person, you should be careful. While some people with aphasia understand very well, others understand only intermittently, which can lead them to misinterpret what has been said.

The aphasic person must be encouraged not to neglect his or her interests and to participate in social activities, even those that involve communication.It should not be forgotten, however, that she gets tired quickly and that meetings involving several individuals can sometimes be trying, especially the first few times.

2 - To facilitate communication

  • Encourager toute tentative de communication, même les gestes.

  • B style="color:#F28B0A;">body language, non-verbal.It is very important to observe body language and facial expressions to better understand what an aphasic person is trying to communicate.

  • When the aphasic person is unable to find a word, he in suggest one taking into account the context (attention not to intervene until the person has even tried to say the word being searched; do not suggest the word too early)

  • Choose conversation topics appropriate (current situation, personal interests, news)

  • In cases of more severe aphasia, invite the person to describe verbally the activities in progress or even, if they cannot, do it for them.

  • Tolerate errors, the important thing being that your message is understood. If necessary, help correct them, but be tactful

  • Use short, simple sentences. If the aphasic person does not understand them, formulate the sentence otherwise and speak more slowly without raising the voice.

  • Report to the aphasic person that they have not been understood despite their attempts to communicate. First, try to guess what she said by observing her mimic, taking into account the context and asking questions she can answer with "yes" or "no". If this approach does not succeed, it is important to express our difficulty in understanding it and to suggest to him to resume later.

3 - So as not to interfere with communication

  • Do not attempt to correct everything or require perfection.
  • Use short, simple sentences. If the aphasic person does not understand them, formulate the sentence otherly and speak more slowly without raising the voice.

  • Do not raise the voice unnecessarily : the aphasic person is not deaf.

  • Don't give a lot of information at once or in the same sentence.

  • Avoid changing the subject without warning (don't roost).

  • Do not take offence at the use of swearing.

  • Do not speak in the place of the aphasic person, except in emergency situations.

  • Do not interrupt without reason.

  • Avoid communicating in noisy environments (radio, television, loud music, crowds).

4 - Communicating with a digital tool

In most cases, some time after the stroke, a close companion can understand many of the simple messages that the aphasic person wants to express without even communicating. However, a digital tool such as the Vocalyx application can enrich the field of messages and lead to facilitations to communication additional to those mentioned above

  • If the close companion can understand without the aphasic person needing to speak, the less close entourage cannot always do the same. The use of synthesized voice in Vocalyx thus makes it possible to transmit messages to a less close environment, but also in external contexts: in the doctor, the baker, the restaurant, ... The aphasic person gains in initiative and in autonomy.

    On the other hand, Vocalyx allows sending relevant messages remotely, composed in text or image that arrive in text. In other words, it is possible to send mail or SMS composed of images chosen by the aphasic !

  • In the case of misunderstanding, you can search the discussion context in the communication keyboards (in photo or in text, depending on the relative's abilities) and ask him if what he is trying to say is represented among the keys. Example: When asked "What's wrong? "The person can find the phrase "I want to get up" on a key, which he could not have composed himself.

  • You can spend a exchange moment by customizing his Vocalyx interface, and adding with the aphasic person the messages to communicate on his preferences and interests (favorite dessert, favorite restaurant, show,...) to give him a more joyful and reassuring living environment.


We suggest implementing these tips diplomatically, depending on the type of aphasia the person has and the situation. It should be added that individual differences should be respected and aphasic people should not be compared with each other. Finally, the isolation of the aphasic person must be broken and his or her place in the community must be restored