We treat all problems affecting; speech, language, communication, eating & drinking.

Learning difficulties

At Manchester SLT we treat a range of speech, language, communication and swallowing difficulties experienced by individuals with learning difficulties. Our specialist therapists aim to maximise an individual's ability to communicate to their highest potential.

What are Learning Difficulties?

Learning difficulties is a term which refers to an individual having difficulties in their intellectual and cognitive functioning. Individuals with learning difficulties will have reduced intellectual abilities which will affect their functioning of everyday tasks.

Learning difficulties can range from mild to severe and can affect an individual in a number of areas of development, including speech, language, communication and swallowing.

Learning difficulties are lifelong disorders caused by disruption to an individual's brain development. Learning difficulties often occur before or shortly after birth. Learning difficulties can occur in isolation or as part of another disorder e.g. Autistic Spectrum Disorder or Down syndrome.

Individuals with learning difficulties will often experience difficulties in their speech, language, communication and swallowing. Some individuals may have mild language difficulties, whilst others may not be able to talk at all. Individuals with learning difficulties often find it difficult to understand and communicate with others.

What problems caused by Learning Difficulties can speech and language therapy help with?

There are many difficulties experienced by individuals with learning difficulties which speech and language therapy help with, these can include:

  • Receptive language difficulties - difficulties understanding spoken or written information.
  • Expressive language difficulties - difficulties communicating with others via spoken, written or non-verbal communication.
  • Speech disorders - difficulties producing speech sounds.
  • Eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties
  • Attention and listening problems - difficulties attending and listening to information.
  • Social communication difficulties - difficulties understanding and expressing communication in social situations including emotions, body language, tone of voice, turn-taking in conversation and appropriate use of language.

The type and severity of difficulties experienced by individuals with learning difficulties will vary for each individual. Some individuals may experience difficulties in some or all of the above areas.

How does speech and language therapy help individuals with Learning Difficulties?

Speech and language therapy at Manchester SLT is extremely beneficial for individuals with learning difficulties. Speech and language therapy will focus on maximising an individual's ability to communicate to their highest potential. Speech and language therapy also helps individuals with learning difficulties to eat and drink as safely and independently as possible.

An initial assessment, carried out by the speech and language therapist will help to determine the type and severity of speech, language, communication and swallowing difficulties the individual is experiencing. An initial assessment and discussion with the individual and their family will inform the therapist on what the most appropriate treatment option will be for that particular individual.

Speech and language therapy can offer a range of treatment options for individuals with learning difficulties. Due to the wide variation of difficulties experienced by individuals with learning difficulties, each individual will receive an individualised treatment plan which will be tailored to their specific needs and abilities.

Treatment at speech and language therapy may involve:

  • Individual therapy
  • Group therapy
  • Advice and support
  • Training
  • Home therapy programmes

In more severe cases, where an individual has very limited communication or is not able to speak, the speech and language therapist will explore different ways of communicating.

The speech and language therapist will work closely with the individual, their carers and others involved in their care, ensuring they receive the best possible outcome from therapy. Speech and language therapy at Manchester SLT is highly beneficial and promotes independence, increases self-esteem and confidence for individuals with learning disabilities.

How can I book a speech and language therapy appointment for Learning Difficulties?

If you feel that speech and language therapy would be beneficial and would like to book an appointment with one of our highly specialised speech and language therapists please contact us by emailing info@manchesterslt.co.uk or calling 0161 883 0111.

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