Supported Communication Intervention (SCI) is a treatment for aphasia that works well when family and friends want to help. SCI relies heavily on the person with aphasia’s communication partner. SCI makes the communication partner responsible for supporting the communication attempts of the person with aphasia.
Using this approach, the communication partner is taught how to support their loved one’s communication. Family and friends can use a multimodal approach to facilitate successful communication. A multimodal approach to communication means that any type of communication is acceptable. This includes speaking, pointing, gesturing, drawing, writing, or using an AAC device.
A person with aphasia might use many methods of communication within the same conversation. Communication partners are trained to recognize these different communication behaviors. They can then rate how they positively or negatively influence the communication of the person with aphasia.
There are many strategies that the communication partner can use to support the person with aphasia. These include:
- Waiting rather than guessing
- Asking open-ended questions (instead of yes/no questions)
- Offering another mode of communication (e.g., “I’m not understanding you. Do you want to try writing it down?”
- Letting the person with aphasia know if the message was understood or not
These strategies let the communication partners provide cues to their loved ones. These cues help the person with aphasia communicate more clearly.