Many people with aphasia have difficulty saying more than one or two words at a time. Response Elaboration Training (RET) is a therapy technique designed to expand on the things that people with aphasia say. It encourages using longer phrases and more related words. The goal of this therapy is to improve conversation and word recall. It can be very meaningful for the person with aphasia because it encourages conversation. There is usually not one “right answer” and the topics can be anything of interest.

As a therapy task, the speech-language pathologist (SLP) will start by presenting a picture or drawing. The SLP will ask the person with aphasia to describe it, or what is happening in it. For instance, the SLP might show a picture of a woman eating cake. The person with aphasia might respond, “woman eat.”

The SLP will reinforce what was said by saying “Yes, the woman is eating!” The SLP will then attempt to expand the sentence by asking a question such as, “What is the woman eating?” Depending on the person with aphasia’s abilities, the SLP will continue to provide support and give an example of a full sentence. The SLP might say, “The woman is eating birthday cake.” The person with aphasia can then repeat what the SLP said to reinforce the sentence.

RET can also be used during conversation. Instead of presenting a picture, the SLP and person with aphasia might be talking about plans for the weekend. If the person with aphasia says “daughter,” the SLP can ask questions in order to expand on the single-word response.

Response Elaboration Training has been used with people with many types of aphasia. It can be especially helpful for people with nonfluent, expressive aphasia.

Caregiver talking on phone with elderly love one looking on.

Lingraphica Can Help

During a free 30-minute free consultation, we’ll help you and your loved ones find exactly what you need to meet your specific communication goals.

We’ll help you to better understand your condition, offer simple strategies for communicating more effectively, and discuss communication and therapy devices and apps that can really help. Call us at 866-570-8775 or click the button below to schedule a consultation.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Free Aphasia Communication, Therapy, and Video Apps

TalkPath Therapy

Exercises designed for practicing and rebuilding speech and language skills.

TalkPath News

An online news source designed to engage and test language comprehension.


Icon and video-based apps that help you communicate in everyday situations.

Lingraphica Can Help

We help adults with speech and language impairments to reconnect with family and friends, improve communication, and live their best lives. Call us at 866-570-8775 or visit the link below to get started.