Communication difficulties

Following a communication assessment, a speech and language therapist will discuss specific difficulties you are experiencing and provide a diagnosis.

Common terminology that we use when describing communication difficulties is explained below:

  • Aphasia/dysphasia – a language disorder which may affect a person’s ability to speak, write and understand spoken or written words
  • Dysarthria – an articulation disorder due to impaired control of the muscles used for speech
  • Dyspraxia (verbal) – a disorder of speech which affects a person’s ability to plan and coordinate speech movements
  • Dysphonia – altered voice production

Supporting you to communicate

If you struggle to get the message you want to express across, here are some tips to help you communicate:

  • Before you speak, think about the message you want to get across
  • Reduce noise around you, for example turn down the television or radio
  • Face the person you are talking to and ensure you have their attention
  • Exaggerate your mouth movements
  • Break longer words into syllables or sections
  • Slow down and speak louder
  • Pause regularly and take a breath whenever you need to
  • Think of another way to say the same thing – for example “can I have another cup of tea?” could be “tea please”
  • Trial using key written words to support your speech
  • Use gesture or drawing if you are able
  • Make people aware that you have difficulty with your communication so they can give you time to slow down or repeat if necessary

General advice to support you with communication while waiting for an appointment can be found in our patient information leaflets.

For further information on and support with specific conditions such as dementia, MS, Parkinson’s disease etc, please look at our helpful links page.

Supporting people with communication difficulties

Learn how to support someone with communication difficulties.