My husband has aphasia as a result of a TBI. How can I help other people feel more comfortable talking with him?
Let's start with a definition. Aphasia is a communication disorder that affects the ability to use or understand language. It can affect the ability to talk, understand speech, and read and write, but does not affect intelligence. It is typically acquired as a result of a stroke or other brain injury.
Since most people don't know what aphasia is, they don't know what to expect. Encourage family and friends to learn about aphasia before they see your husband. Here are some other tips for the family and friends of someone with aphasia.
- Ask others to follow your example and watch what you do when you talk with your husband.
- Try to keep gatherings small so there are fewer distractions.
- Encourage family and friends to ask questions that can be answered with a yes or no. This will help keep your husband from feeling too pressured.
- Start the conversation with familiar topics like sports, family, or the weather. (For example, “Did you see the game last night?”) If your husband gets stuck, the other person will be able to keep the conversation going.
Janet Brown, MA, CCC-SLP, Janet Brown, MA, CCC-SLP spent twenty years in practice at the Veterans Administration Medical Center and at the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Washington, DC. She is the current director of Health Care Services at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.
The contents of Brainline (the “Web Site”), such as text, graphics, images, information obtained from the Web Site’s licensors and/or consultants, and other material contained on the Web Site (collectively, the “Content”) are for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for medical, legal, or other professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Specifically, with regards to medical issues, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Web Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. The Web Site does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned on the Web Site. Reliance on any information provided by the Web Site or by employees, volunteers or contractors or others associated with the Web Site and/or other visitors to the Web Site is solely at your own risk.