In speech therapy, language is the term used to describe the way we put words to communicate and comprehend meaning of the spoken or written word. Language gives us the ability to express ourselves through words, gestures and facial expressions, and ensure we can understand the messages others are sending to us.

A communication disorder may range from mild to profound; and may be developmental or acquired. For example, an individual who has experienced a neurological injury, such as a stroke or brain injury, or has a neurological condition like Parkinson’s disease may experience changes in their language skills – making it harder for them to communicate.

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Common communication and connection issues

At Speak and Swallow, we work collaboratively with adolescents or adults who experience the following difficulties:


  • Lose the meaning of words
  • Not remember information
  • Not understand sentence structures
  • Difficulty following instructions
  • Difficulty understanding emotions
  • Difficulty interpreting facial expressions and behavioural cues


  • May know what something is but cannot say its name
  • May substitute words or sounds while talking
  • Able to use the main core words (e.g. nouns, verbs) but cannot link them together to form a grammatically correct sentence
  • Get stuck on words / sounds
  • Trouble explaining things clearly
  • Make inappropriate comments
  • Present as non-verbal


  • Trouble recognising and understanding letters or words
  • Difficulties recalling details from longer stories / information


  • Trouble formulating letters into words and subsequently forming sentences
  • Trouble organising ideas into logical written structure

Social communication

  • Does not use appropriate greetings (e.g. Hello, Goodbye)
  • May not know how to appropriately inform, demand or promise information
  • Use the same communication style for everyone they talk to
  • Provide too much information and not understand when some details are not necessary
  • Difficulties using appropriate language in different environments
  • Difficulties taking turns during conversation
  • May not understand how to change topics or may change topics too quickly throughout conversation.

How we can help

The team at Speak and Swallow supports adults and adolescents to build confidence and reach their communication goals with therapeutic solutions focused on improving everyday interactions and activities.

Some examples of the practical support we provide includes assisting clients to:

  • Engage in conversation with family and friends
  • Read and follow a recipe
  • Explain your favourite hobbies, movies, foods, etc
  • Order a meal
  • Make a dinner reservation or medical appointment
  • Organise a holiday
  • Prepare a shopping list
  • Use technology or communication software to get a message across.

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