Stroke survivors tune people out, but not necessarily for the reason you think. When I'm struggling with a task I start talking to myself. For example, when I hear my hemiplegic foot scuffing the floor because I'm not lifting my leg high enough I start silently saying "knee up, knee up." If someone is talking to me at that moment I don't hear what that person is saying. I can't listen to someone else while I'm talking myself through a task that able-bodied people do without any thought. For a stroke survivor multitasking can be walking and talking at the same time.
After eight years of living with a stroke the only magic bullet I've found is to stop multitasking. If you want me to process new information or I want to participate in a discussion, I need to sit down. Eliminating multitasking is a magic bullet because it has an immediate effect. By not dividing my attention, I can focus all my energy on the part of my brain I need right now.
I don't feel bad about not multitasking. This strategy keeps me safe and improves my performance. When I take a hot dish out of the the oven I stop talking to guests. I need to make sure my hemiplegic hand maintains a firm grip on the 400 degree handle. When I drive during rush hour I turn off the radio. I need to respond quickly to aggressive, unpredictable, impatient drivers. When I give a presentation
I sit down. I don't want someone in the audience to call 911 after I trip on a cord on the floor or land on my back because I've turned my head to point to something on the screen.
I'm not saying that stroke survivors can never multitask. However, I have to be patient because it takes many repetitions before a task becomes so automatic that I can pay attention to a second task.
After a month of winter I can zip my coat AND talk to friends as we get up to leave a restaurant.