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Speech and Language Therapy for Epilepsy

Some types of Epilepsy are associated with speech and language difficulties. Epilepsy can result in a temporary loss of function in one or more areas of the brain. If the areas of the brain responsible for understanding and communication are affected, speech and language difficulties can occur. The severity of these problems can range from mild to severe, causing a general delay or disordered pattern of language abilities.

Landau kleffner Syndrome (LKS) is an epileptic condition related to age. Its main characteristics include loss of speech and language skills with seizures. These speech and language skills may improve in time, however many individuals continue to experience speech and language difficulties in adulthood. LSK normally occurs before the age of 6 and is more common in boys than girls.

LSK causes difficulties in the understanding and production of words. Difficulties occur when the individual is not able to understand conversations or recognise voices, this has been referred to as 'verbal auditory agnosia'. Children may additionally have difficulties with expressive language and behaviour.

The severity of the child's difficulties will vary over time. Epileptic seizures are usually infrequent in children with LSK and respond well to treatment. Although the seizures can be well controlled, any speech and language difficulties will need on going treatment from a speech and language therapist.

An initial assessment carried out by the speech and language therapist will determine the type and severity of speech, language and communication difficulties experienced by individuals with Epilepsy. An initial assessment will also help in deciding what the most appropriate treatment will be for the specific needs and abilities of the individual.

Problems that Speech and Language Therapy can help people with Epilepsy are:

  • Difficulty with pragmatics
  • Difficulty understanding conversational communication
  • Poor skills in social communication
  • Slurred or dysfluent speech
  • Socially unacceptable behaviour

There are many conditions that cause speech, language and communication difficulties which have a high rate of Epilepsy. Speech and language therapist will help to maximise the communication of individuals with Epilepsy and associated conditions.

Speech and language therapists will work alongside other health and educational professionals as well as parents / carers in ensuring the individual receives effective speech and language therapy treatment. The speech and language therapist will provide them with support, advice and strategies in helping to manage any speech, language or communication difficulties effectively. Speech and language therapists aim to improve and develop the individual's speech, language and communication difficulties to their highest potential in their home, educational and social environments.

If you feel you would benefit from our speech and language therapy services and would like to arrange an assessment with one of our specialist speech and language therapists please email or call 0330 088 6693.

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