Adults with speech and language difficulty

Adults with speech and language difficulty

Communication with adults with speech & language difficulty

As part of Speech Pathology Australia Week, 2018 Speech Pathology Australia has provided general tips for successful communication. These tips can be applied when communicating with adults who present with speech or language deficits such as Apraxia and Dysarthria:

Tips For Successful Communication
  • Always treat the person with the communication disability with dignity and respect
  • Be welcoming and friendly
  • Understand there are many ways to communicate
  • Ask the person with the disability what will help with communication
  • Avoid loud locations, find a quiet place
  • Listen carefully
  • When you don’t understand, let them know you are having difficulty understanding
  • If you think the person has not understood, repeat what you have said or say it a different way
  • Try asking the person yes or no questions if you are having difficulty understanding them
  • Ask the person to repeat or try another approach if you don’t understand
  • To make sure you are understood, check with the person that you have understood them correctly
  • If you ask a question, wait for the person to reply
  • Allow the person time to respond, so always be patient
  • Speak directly to the person and make eye contact. (Though be mindful that there are some people who may not want you to look at them, e.g. some people with autism spectrum disorder)
  • Speak normally. There is no need for you to raise your voice or slow your speech.

*Source: Adapted from SCOPE, Communication for All Booklet, http://www.scopeaust.org.au

More information:

Apraxia of speech in adults/ Dysarthria in adults