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Adult Language Clinic

​Adult Language Clinic – for adults with acquired communication difficulties

In the Adult Language Clinic, speech therapists assess and manage speech, language and communication disorders that occur after acquired neurological conditions, such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s Disease or dementia. Speech and language difficulties that arise from these conditions can limit one’s ability to express basic needs, to communicate with loved ones and also affect a person’s efficiency at work. 

Assessment and Management – What to expect

A speech therapist will carry out a case history interview to understand the medical background, concerns about communication, and the extent of the problem. Communication difficulties will then be assessed via a variety of tests or formal assessments. Treatment and management of the communication difficulty are based on individualised needs and goals. Therapy will also differ according to the type of speech and language disorder. In some cases, therapy may focus on caregiver education (e.g. how to facilitate communication) or training alternative methods of communication (e.g. writing or drawing).


Speech therapists running the adult language clinics can assess and manage the following disorders. Any other communication difficulties not mentioned below can be further discussed with your speech therapist. 

Dysarthria 

Dysarthria refers to speech changes as a result of reduced movement or coordination of the speech muscles. This may result in slurred or unclear speech patterns. 
Drooling and/or swallowing difficulties may also be observed in people with dysarthria.

Many neurological conditions can predispose people to dysarthria. For example, people with Parkinson’s disease are often too soft in volume or have mumbling-like speech. The adult language clinic offers the Lee Silverman Voice Treatment program (LSVT), a voice and speech treatment programme for suitable candidates. 

Aphasia 

Language areas are commonly located in the left side of the brain. Left sided brain damage can affect these communicative functions:
  • Understanding
  • Speaking
  • Reading
  • Writing

Aphasia is a language difficulty. A person with aphasia might have intact cognition and thinking skills to function in their daily life, but have difficulties with communicating. Symptoms of aphasia include confusing words that are similar in meaning or sound, having difficulty finding the right word, having difficulty understanding complex instructions, or participating in group conversations

Apraxia 

Apraxia refers to a communication disorder that is due to a difficulty in planning and coordinating speech muscles for talking. You may observe these signs:
  • Difficulty in imitating mouth (jaw, lip, tongue)  movements
  • Inconsistent sound/word productions
  • Speaking requires great effort

Cognitive Communication Disorder 

Cognitive communication disorder is a broad term to describe any communication difficulties caused by a change in a person’s cognition. Common medical conditions that cause this disorder include Alzheimer's disease, brain tumours, stroke, and traumatic brain injury.
Some examples of cognitive processes include: attention, memory, organisation, problem solving/reasoning, and executive functions. Problems in these areas can affect verbal and nonverbal communication. The person might have seemingly normal speech and language ability however they might have difficulty with the social communication, e.g. have difficulty making inferences or understanding feelings based on facial expressions or tone of voice.

How can we get in touch with a Speech Therapist?

If you suspect yourself, or someone you know, is suffering from a communication difficulty, please do not hesitate to get a referral from your primary medical doctor in SGH to Speech Therapy. For external referrals, please obtain a referral letter from a Singapore-registered medical doctor, made out to Speech Therapy. 

Please call SGH Central Appointment’s Hotline at 63214377 to make an appointment to see a Speech Therapist