Student Support

If Speaking is a Problem


  • ​Support and encourage speech efforts.

  • Don't talk about the person as if he or she were not there.

  • Speak as you would with any adult. The person's inability to find a word does not mean that he or she has lost intelligence or knowledge.

  • Don't insist that the person give accurate responses, or "talk right."

  • Ask direct questions requiring a simple "yes" or "no" response rather than a complex answer. "Are you feeling well?" rather than "How are you?" 

  • Encourage gestures and "talking with hands" or pictures whenever possible.

  • Don't pretend to understand when you don't. Repeat what you have understood and allow the person time to respond. 

  • Don't talk for the person unless absolutely necessary.

  • In case of emergencies, ask the person for printed information so that you can contact a responsible party. Call 911 should a physical emergency occur.