Being able to communicate is an essential part of every day life but is something many of us take for granted. When a person has a communication disability, it can have an impact on all areas of their life and everyday activities can become a real challenge.

Any aspect of speech and language can be disrupted. This can mean that a person may need help to communicate in an effective way - they have communication support needs.

Adults who have communication support needs may have difficulties with one or more aspects of communication. Here are some examples:

  • Difficulty in producing speech clearly
  • Difficulty in putting their ideas or opinions into words
  • Difficulty in making their needs known
  • Difficulty in understanding what another person is saying to them

Sometimes there may be an obvious cause that contributes to the communication difficulties that an adult is experiencing, for example:


  • A physical cause e.g.due to muscular weakness after having a stroke
  • A sensory cause e.g.having a hearing impairment
  • A medical cause e.g. sustaining a head injury in an accident
  • There may be a cause related to a person's mental capacity e.g. developing dementia in later life
  • Some adults have communication support needs associated with other conditions e.g. Motor Neurone Disease or Parkinsons Disease

Adults with communication support needs still have to access employment, education and healthcare services as well as follow leisure and social opportunities. The speech and language therapy service seeks to raise awareness of communication support needs among the general public so that people who experience difficulties in communicating receive the right kind of support in any situation.



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