DIY Communication Boards for Persons with Aphasia

Communication boards are simple means to help a person communicate their needs. In this blog, we will help you make DIY Communication Boards for Persons with Aphasia. Many People with Aphasia find it difficult to communicate due to brain damage. These boards can be very easy, cost-effective, and simple to use. It consists of simple pictures with or without text. The person has to touch or point to the desired picture to say what he/she wants.

DIY Communication Boards for Persons with Aphasia

  1. Yes/ No Board:

This is a simple and cost-effective board that you can make. It can be used for a person with severe aphasia and during the initial hospital stays. This board can help you understand what your loved one is trying to say.

To make this board, take cardboard and paste a white sheet on it. Now, take a green marker and write “YES” and a red marker to write “NO” on each side. Once, this is ready, you can use it. Keep it at an eye-level distance of the person with aphasia and ask one simple yes/no question at a time. Encourage them to point or eye gaze at their choice of option.

  1. Communication Card for Distress Feelings:

These cards can help the caregiver understand what the person with aphasia is feeling or where he/she has pain. This can be used during hospital stays and at home for severe aphasias.

To make this board, take a long cardboard piece and paste a big image of the human body. When your loved one is feeling uneasy, use this board at eye level. Ask the person to point or eye gaze at the body part he/she is feeling uncomfortable. Further, you can ask questions about pain or itchy feeling, or numbness. Use this board along with the YES/NO board.

  1. “I Want” Communication Board:

This board is very simple and you can ask the person what he/she wants. This board is for all persons with aphasia with word-finding issues and speech impairment.

To do an “I want” board. Take a big cardboard piece and paste a white paper. Now, write down on top “I WANT”. Below this, draw a table of 3 categories. These can include, “food, needs, persons”. Next, paste pictures of 5 items under each category that are specific to your loved one’s preference. Use this board and ask them “what they want” and they can point to communicate. For Example: Under “Food – biscuit, bread, rice, etc., / Person- my son, wife, etc.,”

  1. “I Feel” Communication Board:

We all want our feeling to be heard, so do our loved ones. To make this, take a piece of paper. Stick images of different feelings one can feel. You can include pictures of, happy, bored, anxious, sad, and so on. Help the person with aphasia to point to the feeling they experience. This board can greatly help you and the person with aphasia to communicate and understand each other better.

  1. Word and Picture Book:

The word and picture book can be used for people with word-finding issues. Take a small diary and divide it into different categories. You can write or stick pictures for different categories of “food, clothes, daily needs, common items and so on”. Under each section, write or paste several bold pictures of each item. Encourage the person with aphasia to use this book when he/she finds it difficult to think of the desired word. This book can be easily carried and aids as a helper.


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Ayesha Anjum
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