Clarification Strategies

Clarification strategies can help individuals who use speech as their primary mode of communication but have difficulty being understood in some or all situations because of unclear speech. They may experience frustration, social withdrawal, or limited conversational topics due to repeated experiences of communication breakdown. Some individuals need to learn that they are not understood by others. Clarification strategies can increase successful communication experiences, improve social participation, increase an individual’s range of conversational topics, and facilitate continued development of expressive language skills.  


Research shows that:

  • There is often an increase in speech with the introduction of augmentative or alternative communication. (Zangari, August 2000; Miller, Light & Schlosser, August, 2000)
  • The use of clarification strategies results in no decrease in speech and significant increase in communication success and repair. (Cumley, June 1999)
  • Using clarification strategies results in an increase in communication effectiveness.  (Hustad & Gutmann, August, 2000)

The following are some great resources to get started with clarification strategies: