Communication Strategies for Patients with Aphasia & Cognitive Disorders for Non-SLPs

Description: It can be intimidating to do clinical work with a patient who can’t just tell you what they need, where the pain is, or how they feel. This is a common challenge across health care settings and clinical disciplines. This course will highlight how to use multiple modes of communication (verbal, auditory, reading, writing, drawing, gesture) as tools to increase communication effectiveness between health care providers and their patients with communication disorders. Through guided analysis of case studies and videos of patients with a range of communication barriers, participants will practice how to identify a patient’s communication strengths, choose the best tools to capitalize on those strengths, and structure interactions to maximize success across a variety of clinical scenarios.

Instructor: Elissa Larkin, MS, CCC-SLP, Speech and Language Pathologist, Neurorehabilitation Unit and Center for Aphasia Research and Treatment, Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

Audience:  Physical Therapists, Physical Therapist Assistants, Occupational Therapists, Occupational Therapy Assistants

Objectives Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the range of communication modes available to them and to their patients
  • Identify how to evaluate a patient’s communication strengths and weaknesses.
  • Outline how to structure communication with the patient to maximize use of her/his particular communication strengths to better support successful exchanges

Note: You will have 3 months from the date of purchase to complete and review the course material. You will receive a reminder email 2 weeks before the expiration date.

Continuing Education Credits

Occupational Therapy
The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is an approved provider for the American Occupational Therapy Association to offer continuing education in occupational therapy. This intermediate level program awards occupational therapists 0.15 CEUs or 1.5 contact hours. The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA. Category 1: Domain of OT, Category 2: OT Process

Physical Therapy
This course has been approved by the Illinois Physical Therapy Board for 1.5 Contact Hours. Approval #216-000069

The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board of Physical Therapy as an approved provider of physical therapy and physical therapist assistant continuing education.  This course has been approved by the New York Physical Therapy Board for 1.5 Contact Hours


Basic Computer Requirements: 

You will need access to a computer with an Internet connection. High speed broadband access (LAN, Cable or DSL) is highly recommended.

  • Web browser: Latest stable version of Apple Safari, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox
  • JavaScript and Cookies enabled
  • Do NOT use Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge as they are not supported.

    Cancellation Policy: To request a cancellation of an on-demand program, please provide written notice by letter, email, or fax or contact us by phone within 24 hours of placing your order and we will refund you the full course fee. If you cannot give notice within 24 hours, a credit towards a future course of equal value would apply.


    Online Learning Athletic Trainers Nurses Occupational Therapists Physical Therapists