Both children and adults may have communication problems. Sometimes the reason has been identified but on many occasions - especially where children are concerned - it may not be easy for the family to name the problem or identify its cause.

Many young children have communication problems because of:

  • Delayed development
  • Disordered development
  • Finding it difficult to put sentences together so that they can be understood (expressive language difficulty)
  • Finding it difficult to remember words and their meanings
  • Having difficulty in understanding what others say (receptive language difficulty)
  • Otitis media (glue ear) causing intermittent hearing impairment which affects learning
  • Pragmatic difficulty (using spoken and nonverbal communication to interact socially)
  • Selective mutism (only speaking in certain situations)
  • Speech dyspraxia / verbal dyspraxia (a motor coordination difficulty affecting pronunciation)
  • Using the wrong sounds in speech and not improving following the expected developmental pattern (phonological difficulty)


Specific Language Impairment (SLI) is when language development falls well behind other children of the same age. Problems can interfere with everyday life and school achievement. It is not due to hearing loss, physical abnormality, acquired brain damage or lack of language experience and it is not part of a general developmental delay.


Speech and language therapists who work with children are experienced with these problems. Click here to search for Speech Therapists in your area.


Some causes for communication problems in adults and children (where a diagnosis may already be known) include:





Some independent speech and language therapists have a special interest in other areas:



This page updated on Dec 03 2014 04:24 PM