Both children and adults may have communication problems. Sometimes the reason has been identified but on many occasions - especially where children are concerned - it may not be easy for the family to name the problem or identify its cause.Many young children have communication problems because of:Delayed developmentDisordered developmentFinding it difficult to put sentences together so that they can be understood (expressive language difficulty)Finding it difficult to remember words and their meaningsHaving difficulty in understanding what others say (receptive language difficulty)Otitis media (glue ear) causing intermittent hearing impairment which affects learningPragmatic difficulty (using spoken and nonverbal communication to interact socially)Selective mutism (only speaking in certain situations)Speech dyspraxia / verbal dyspraxia (a motor coordination difficulty affecting pronunciation)Using the wrong sounds in speech and not improving following the expected developmental pattern (phonological difficulty)Speech and Language Therapists who work with children are experienced with these problems. Click here to search for Speech Therapists in your area.Some causes for communication problems in adults and children (where a diagnosis may already be known) include:Acquired Brain Injury/StrokeAutism Spectrum DisorderBilingualismCerebral PalsyCleft PalateCochlear ImplantDyslexiaHead & Neck CancerLearning DisabilityMental HealthProgressive Neurological Disorders (such as MS, Motor Neurone Disease, Parkinson''s Disease)StammeringSwallowing Problems / dysphagiaVisual ImpairmentVoice DisordersSome independent speech and language therapists have a special interest in other areas:Augmentative and Alternative CommunicationMedico-legal WorkPalliative CareSigningAcquired Brain Injury (ABI) including StrokeAcquired Brain Injury (ABI) includes: (a) Traumatic brain injury (TBI) which describes head injury such as might be caused by a fall or a road traffic accident; and (b) Non-traumatic brain injury which includes damage caused by strokes, tumours, lack of oxygen following surgery, infectious diseases, etc. Acquired Brain Injury can affect adults and childrenThe communication problems resulting from damage to the brain are described as ''acquired'' (i.e. not pre-existing). All aspects of communication may be affected including speech, understanding, reading and writing. This communication problem is known as dysphasia (or aphasia). The level of difficulty is very variable. In severe cases people may not understand even simple language, and are unable to put a sentence together.Swallowing problems (dysphagia) are also common after Acquired Brain Injury. People may cough or choke when eating and drinking. In more severe cases chest infections can develop as food has gone down the ''wrong way'' and entered the lungs.Muscle weakness or lack of coordination (dysarthria) is common and can cause speech to be slurred and monotonous. People may have difficulty with the control of pace and volume of their speech. Writing and gesture can also be affected by muscle weakness.Sometimes people have no weakness, but have difficulty planning and carrying out the complex movements needed for speech (dyspraxia).The language difficulties after brain injury can be more subtle (cognitive communication disorders). For example, poor memory prevents people recalling what has been said, or what they have just read. Poor concentration and attention may also make it difficult for them to follow conversation. Although communication seems normal, there may be serious difficulties maintaining relationships or holding down a job.