Some of the best communication tips for people with aphasia come from people with aphasia. Living with aphasia forces a person to learn new ways of conveying ideas and asking questions. Our Aphasia Cafes are a great place to learn from others who understand what it is like to move through a fast-talking world.

Smile Before You Speak

At a recent Aphasia Cafe, longtime participant Theresa gave excellent advice that she uses to make communication easier. “Smile before you speak,” she advised. Smiling creates a pause so she can collect her thoughts. Smiling also sets the tone for the conversation. The other person is likelier to slow down and give you time to speak if they know you are coming from a friendly (and not annoyed) place.


This simple step — pausing and smiling — can change the direction of any communication: From brief questions at a store to a long conversation with a friend.

Act Like a Star

Mert, another longtime participant, talked about the advice her late husband gave her. Instead of entering a room feeling like she needs to apologize for her aphasia, she should enter as if she’s a star. Mostly because she is a star, and we all deserve the star treatment just for being human. She enters the conversation expecting that people want to help or hear what she has to say.


Again, it changes communication if you expect people to pause for you while searching for a word. It allows you to relax so you can communicate better.


So turn on that megawatt smile and act like you are a star. It can change your conversations.