Cueing means to give a signal to begin a specific action, or to give a clue or prompt for the service member or veteran to perform an activity. Cueing prompts a person to stop and think before acting.

Cueing strategies can be learned from you and the therapists on the healthcare team. Attend therapy sessions and observe how the team members cue the person. The goal of progressive cueing is to gradually advance from being told what to do to being able to independently cue, or remind, oneself what to do. Learning how to self-cue increases independence.

Try the following methods for cueing the service member or veteran with TBI:

  • Ask questions.
    • Ask questions that will help the person find a solution, such as, "What could you do to help yourself next time?"
    • Avoid asking questions that do not help solve the problem, such as, "Why did you do that?"
  • Provide verbal and nonverbal cues.
    • An example of a verbal cue is to say, "Stop and think. What else could you do?"
    • An example of a nonverbal cue is pausing or not acting immediately to help the person recognize the need to use a strategy, such as “stop and think.” A nonverbal cue may be a physical cue, such as touching their arm to remind them to use that hand to complete a task.
    • Use a signal you have agreed upon ahead of time, such as a raised finger or a head nod, as nonverbal cues.
  • Types of cues:
    • Direct cue: a specific prompt. For example, "Did you look in your calendar?"
    • Indirect cue: a general prompt. For example, "Where could you find that information?"
    • Self-cue: "Where could I find that information?"