Expressive problems

How we can help people with expressive problems

An expressive problem is a difficulty in expressing thoughts or messages clearly and effectively. This can either be written expression or verbal expression. People with expressive language problems often have difficulties in finding the correct word to use and have limited grasp on grammar, including difficulties with time and tense words.

Speech and language therapy helps individuals with expressive problems by improving and supporting their expressive communication. Speech and language therapy will use a variety of methods and techniques to support an individual’s expressive problems, treatment plans will be tailored to the individual’s specific needs and abilities.

What are expressive problems?

Expressive problems occur when individuals have difficulties expressing messages. This could be both written and verbal. Expressive language problems can be extremely frustrating for both the individual and their family. Individuals with expressive problems may additionally have receptive problems, where their understanding of spoken and written language and writing may be affected.

People with expressive problems may also have difficulties in organising their thought processes. This has a knock on affect, and then causes difficulty in expressing thoughts to people as well as writing their ideas down on paper. Expressive problems can mean that the connection between ideas and words is lost. Sound and pronunciation of speech may also be disrupted and affected by such a loss.

What causes expressive problems?

Expressive language problems in adults are usually caused by injury or damage to the brain. This could be following a stroke or after head trauma of some kind. There are a number of problems which are associated with expressive language problems, some of these are:

What issues caused by expressive problems can SLT UK help with?

Speech and language therapy may help individuals with attention, listening, speech and communication problems that are caused by expressive problems.

Both the speech and language therapist and patient will collaborate and discuss the best areas to work on and improve, in order to progress throughout treatment and help with the expression of language.

How does speech and language therapy help expressive problems?

Speech and language therapy helps people with expressive problems and will be related to each individual and reflect what they want to improve on. Speech and language therapists may suggest new techniques for speech production and develop exercises to improve the speech and language of each individual. It is important to realise that each case is different and therapy will reflect this focusing on different areas for different people.

Speech and language therapy can be extremely beneficial for an individual with expressive 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 expressive problems involve?

Speech and language therapy treatment will include assessments, therapy programmes, reports, reviews, support groups, advice and education but will be tailored to each individuals needs.

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. An initial assessment 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.

Specific treatments which can help individuals with expressive problems include:


Expressive problems can affect adults who have had a stroke, traumatic brain injury or have lifelong disorders. Speech and language therapy can help treat and support individuals with expressive problems. Treatment may be in the form of speech or writing. The speech and language therapist will create individualised treatment programmes, tailored to the specific needs of the client.

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.

Related pages

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