Supporting Communication Skills in Action

Supporting joint attention during a conversation:

Negative example

In this video, the person with a brain injury  – “Mr. Franks” – is distracted and has difficulty following the conversation. The provider is monotone and speaks without pausing. She also shows signs of impatience and does not check-in with the person to see if he is paying attention to what is being said.

Positive example

In this example, the provider uses a more positive, collaborative approach. She encourages Mr. Franks’ participation by leaning in and establishing eye contact. The task is broken down into smaller steps to make it easier for him to attend and process. She also uses the calendar as a visual and organization aid.

Supporting self-awareness in a conversation:

In this example, the person with the brain injury – “Alan” – has difficulty with self-awareness. He dominates the conversation and does not pick up on subtle cues when his provider tries to enter the conversation

In this example, the provider asks early on in the conversation about using a clear cue to help Alan increase his awareness about dominating the conversation and to prompt a pause to allow for turn taking.


Accommodating the Symptoms of Traumatic Brain Injury created by the Ohio Valley Center for Brain Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation at Ohio State University (all rights reserved).