Jan 24, 2009

Talking to Ian

( Sorry, David. It's because we like Sarah better than you.)
Ian wanted me to write a post about how to communicate with him. I think that we all tend to forget that we should be communicating with Ian just like we would with anyone else. Here are some (hopefully helpful) tips on how to talk to Ian.

*Talk to Ian like you would have before the accident. You don't have to talk slowly, or loudly, or differently at all than you would to another friend.
*Ian most clearly says yes and no by nodding and shaking his head. If he's not doing that, just ask him to and he will. It's really really clear. He can also give you a thumbs up or down.

*Ian might try to mouth things to you. If you can't understand him, just ask one of us to help you.

*Remember that Ian is aware of everything going on around him. Sometimes people talk about Ian to someone else, but Ian is close enough that he can hear it. It's helpful for me to remember what it would be like for me if someone were talking about me to someone else right in front of me. We should either include Ian in that conversation or talk about it to that person later.
*Ian really seems to enjoy just having someone talk to him. Just let him know what's going on in your life.

*More likely than not, you probably don't need to introduce yourself to him. I know that's different than a year ago when we were asking you to just remind him of who you are. He's never communicated to me that he's forgotten who certain people are, so you're safe just assuming that he remembers you.

I hope these are helpful. I think the biggest thing to remember is that we treat Ian the same now as we used to.

Thank you all for praying. Ian continues to work really, really hard and is impressing his therapists like crazy:)



Anonymous said...

what wonderful tips. My daughter (who is 6) was born with a TBI, and learning to speak was very hard work for her. She most definitely understood things being said around her, even if she could not communicate the way she wanted to!

Ian's progress is remarkable and I really enjoy seeing his pictures - there is so much life and love and humor in him! Praise God!

We will continue to hold you in our thoughts and prayers.

Aunt Terry said...

Larissa, how amazing it is that you are giving us tips on communication with Ian. Our God is surely an awesome healer!

Anonymous said...

Wow-it is wonderful to be able to pray that Ian's voice gets better and not that he gets a voice! Ian, I pray you get to the day-they actually have to ask you to be quite so they can get a word in! Way to Go!

Thanks and Praise to our God for such a wonderful situation! May it continue!
Wendy, NC

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Larissa!
You are a dear for writing these tips on the blog! I think that mostly people want to do/say the "right" thing, but aren't always sure. By your spelling it out, it truly is a big help.
Go Ian! I know that you will keep on "impressing (your) therapists like crazy:)" !!!

Still Praying!

Mary Ann K.

Sharon said...

Such good news, Larissa! Please let Ian know that he is always in my thoughts and prayers.

I love that about God's family - that common bond that helps us to bear with and rejoice with a friend across the miles...

Blessings on this last week of January...

Anonymous said...

You Go Ian and dazzel those therapist!!

It is a great thing to communicate to others to treat you as before. I think many people who are not familiar with brain injury to realize this. It is kind of scary for some to think or believe that their whole identity may be lost with a brain injury, but in reality there is much more that remains the same. It just takes a little digging to find this out.

Keep working hard Ian.

God will bless

Minori Family

Sandy said...

Thanks Ian and Larissa for the good intel.
And also, why is Sarah the only one not making a face in the first pic?

Sandy said...

What I meant to say is why is sarah the only one NOT making a face...

Anonymous said...

Thanks laris. I get frustrated when I can't remember a word or name...how must Ian feel?

Marshall said...


My name is Marshall and you have never met me but I have been praying for you since the accident. Your friends Brandon M and Ian L from Maryland are also my friends and they told me about you.

I pray that God will help you in your fight to talk and to walk. I know it is a very difficult fight, but remember that God is with you and He can do anything! Keep asking God for help and keep working, but also thank Him for all the help He has already given you. Thank Him for your family and friends who care so much for you, and especially thank Him for Larissa!

Even if the only thing you can pray is “help!” pray that one word. God hears.

Tim said...

I am praying for Ian and you all this morning. Thanks for keeping us updated via this website.

Dublin, CA

Anonymous said...

thanks, Larissa!


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for these helpful tips. You are right, it is difficult being on the "outside" of Ian's immediate family/friends and knowing how to act and speak! Thanks for just telling us. :)

I was praying for you guys while I was sitting behind you in church this Sunday. Though we folks may not know what it's like to be Ian, Larissa, and the rest of the Murphys, God does. I am conforted knowing He is always caring for you.
Sara B.