If a loved one has a speech impairment, choosing the right solutions to help him or her communicate can seem daunting. Your treatment team can help you make decisions, including which options are best for your loved one’s situation. The team may suggest learning and using compensatory strategies and tools to help your family communicate. During rehabilitation, your family will probably use more than one of these strategies. Often, this leads to the richest communication all-around. Problem/Issue Compensatory Strategy A loved one can’t tell you that he or she is hungry You and your loved one substitute another skill that he or she already knows for speaking, such as writing in a spiral notebook. Your loved one has severe speech limitations Your family learns to communicate using aids, such as: • A communication board with words or pictures for “bathroom” or “water” • A simple electronic device with recorded voice messages, such as a talking photo album • A high-tech speech generating device or computer software to talk with family members • Simple hand gestures Your loved one wants to stay involved in social groups Your loved one stays engaged, but moves from being a leader to being a participant. Your family starts making scrapbooks or remnant books to use in social groups so you have common topics and language in front of you. Family members get frustrated during communication Speech pathologists teach relatives to accept all communication attempts and support new methods of communication.