CEMM Virtual Library

The Caregiver's Journey


Cueing means to give a signal to begin a specific action. Cueing prompts your service member/veteran to stop and think before acting.

Cueing strategies are best learned from the therapists working with your service member/veteran. Attend therapy and observe how they cue the person. The goal of progressive cueing is to move your service member/veteran from having to be “told what to do” by you and rehabilitation team members to being able to independently cue, or remind, him or herself what he or she needs to do. Learning how to self-cue increases self-reliance. Consistency in approach increases the odds of success.

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

  • Guide your service member/veteran by asking 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 or 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.”
    • Use a signal you have agreed upon ahead of time, such as a raised finger or a head nod.
  • 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?”

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