Comprehension is the ability to understand verbal, non-verbal and written communication. A comprehension problem can arise when there is a breakdown in understanding any form of communication. Comprehension problems can also be termed receptive problems.
A comprehension problem is a difficulty in understanding verbal, written and non-verbal (body language and facial expressions) communication. A patient with a comprehension problem may have difficulty in understanding any of the above methods of communication or a combination of these.
Comprehension problems can vary from mild to severe difficulties.
Common difficulties experienced by individuals with comprehension problems can include:
Many conditions and disorders can cause comprehension problems in adults, the severity of these comprehension problems will differ for each disorder and with each individual. The following disorders or conditions can contribute to a comprehension problem in adults:
Comprehension problems are identified and diagnosed by the speech and language therapist. The speech and language therapist will work with a number of professionals when diagnosing if an individual has a comprehension problem. An initial assessment will be carried out by the speech and language therapist. This assessment will identify if an individual has a comprehension problem and also the severity of the individual’s difficulties. The initial assessment will also help to decide on what the best method of treatment will be for the individual.
Speech and language therapy will help to treat and support individuals with comprehension problems. Individuals with comprehension problems will often respond well to speech and language therapy.
The speech and language therapist will work with the individual and also their carer and other professionals in helping to support their speech, language and communication needs. The main aim of speech and language therapy will be to maximise the individual’s communication and also to increase their understanding of spoken and written words and sentences.
Each individual will have an individualised speech and language therapy treatment plan. When creating an individual’s treatment plan the speech and language therapist will consider many factors including the individual’s current and past communicative abilities and also the underlying cause of their comprehension problem.
There are different forms of speech and language therapy which can benefit individuals with comprehension problems. The speech and language therapist will carry out and initial assessment to determine what the best option of treatment will be for the individual’s specific speech, language and communication needs. Different treatment options for an individual with comprehension problems can include:
A comprehension problem is a difficulty in understanding verbal, non-verbal and written forms of communication. An individual with a comprehension problem will have difficulty in communicating effectively with others. The speech and language therapist will aim to increase the individual’s understanding and maximising their communicative ability.
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