What are communication disorders?

They are impairments or difficulties with speech and language.  This can occur in childhood (developmental communication disorders) or in adulthood (acquired communication disorders).

The most common communication disorders in adults are:

  • Aphasia
  • Dysarthria
  • Apraxia
  • Cognitive Language Impairments

These conditions can occur for many reasons, including:

  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI) — e.g. from a car accident
  • Neurological conditions — e.g. Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Communication disorders can be devastating for both the individual and family.  Speech and language are our natural way of communicating and interacting with each other.  When you are unable to communicate as you once did, it can be frustrating and scary.  What’s worse, you may not be able to express that frustration and fear!

People with communication disorders often experience major changes in their lives as they may not be able to return to previous jobs, to participate in old hobbies or pastimes, or to relate easily to friends and family.

All of these challenges can cause you to feel angry, isolated, scared and misunderstood.

These feelings can be exacerbated when other people treat you differently because you are not able to speak or understand the way you once did.

Family members feel loss and frustration as well – many find it difficult to communicate with their  loved one.  They feel helpless and unsure of how best to support the person they care about.

My background in both Counselling Psychology and Speech Pathology provides a unique combination of skills and knowledge.  I can work with individuals and family members around the psychological and emotional issues involved with a communication disorder.

We can work together on issues such as:

  • Grief and loss
  • Role changes
  • Anger
  • Acceptance
  • Meaning

Please contact me to see how we can join together to adapt and flourish through the challenges of a communication disorder.