Comprehension problems

How we can help people with comprehension problems

Comprehension problems, also known as receptive difficulties are when people have difficulties understanding written or spoken information. Difficulties can also arise in both areas. Speech and language therapy helps to support and treat individuals with comprehension problems by maximising their ability to understand.

What are comprehension problems?

Comprehension problems are when people have difficulties understanding either written or spoken language. These difficulties can range from mild to severe and cause problems for people in their everyday lives. People, who have comprehension problems, may also have difficulties expressing themselves in either spoken or written language. Speech and language therapy can help to support someone with comprehension problems.

What causes comprehension problems?

There are many different causes of comprehension problems. Comprehension problems usually occur as part of a disorder or syndrome. However traumatic brain injury or a stroke can also affect comprehension. The following are some of the causes of comprehension difficulties:

What comprehension problems can SLT UK help with?

Speech and language therapy can treat and support people with comprehension difficulties and as well as attention, listening, expressive language and general communication problems which they may also experience problems in.

How does speech and language therapy help comprehension problems?

Speech and language therapy will maximise a person’s communication to the best of their ability with an aim to increase understanding. Therapy aims and outcomes will be different for each individual and may include more general therapy as well as intensive, individual therapy.

Speech and language therapy can be extremely beneficial for an individual with comprehension problems, speech and language therapy may reduce a patient's stress and anxiety whilst increasing their confidence. This may open up more work and social opportunities for the individual as their language and communication continues to improve and strategies to communicate develop.

What would speech and language therapy treatment for comprehension problems involve?

Speech and language therapy for comprehension problems will involve an initial assessment which will help to determine the severity of an individual’s communication problems. After an initial assessment, therapy will be implemented. This will be specific to the individual and may include assessments, reports, reviews, therapy programmes, training, education and advice.

An initial assessment will be carried out by one of our speech and language therapists. This will highlight any worries and difficulties concerning communication and speech. It will also provide a chance for you to share any concerns you may have, and allow you to discuss what you would like to work on and improve.


A comprehension problem is a difficulty with understanding verbal or written language. People can also have difficulties with both. Speech and language therapy aims to support understanding and to maximise communication.

If you feel you may benefit from speech and language therapy or would like any more information on our services please email or call 0330 088 5643.

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Communication problems Comprehension problems Expressive problems Receptive problems Processing problems Production problems
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