Conditions that cause the use of incorrect terms or phrases
Players that have difficulty in the use of correct terms or phrases may primarily be dealing with a situation that effects communication but not necessarily cognition (as is the case with disabilities such as Aphasia).
Consider these while talking to the disabled person, or their caretaker if applicable, but general guidelines are as follows:
- Do not communicate for the player, but instead provide them time and patience.
- If it's preferred to allow them to communicate through a multitude of modalities such as through writing, manipulation of objects, selections via choice boards or other software-based communication devices, and gestures.
- Adjust for the time needed to communicate and factor that into planned session times. If you are using cards to manage spells/powers/actions etc, then provide that use to all players at the table.
- Allow players to repeat themselves as often as necessary or if preferable explain desired outcomes of actions they have trouble communicating.
- Reduce whenever possible cross-talk among players while the player is attempting to communicate to create a distraction-free space. Likewise reduce active environmental distractions (TVs playing in the background, discussions next to the table, etc).
While the disability may be isolated as a symptom, it is often paired with the disabilities with the reception of communicated ideas and dialogue. If this is the case and is predetermined through pre-session communication, consider keeping a language simplified or at least less prosaic, repeating yourself as often as necessary.
Word connectivity may be achieved over time and through practice, so do not shy away from using or encouraging the player from communicating the attempted terminology. Repetition and utilization of visual cues might be supportive, but would best be left to the determination of pre-session caregivers or the player directly.