Does Speech Therapy Help with Cognitive Issues?

Does Speech Therapy Help with Cognitive Issues?

Cognition is the mental process or action of acquiring knowledge, information, and understanding through experience, thought, and the senses. Cognitive communication skills are the abilities that are used alongside speech and language skills to effectively communicate. This group of skills includes: 

  • Orientation
  • Attention 
  • Memory 
  • Problem-Solving 
  • Impulsivity
  • Perception
  • Reasoning & Organization
  • Sequencing & Planning
  • Social Behaviors
  • Emotional Regulation

When an individual is struggling with cognitive issues, these challenges can directly affect the individual’s ability to communicate effectively and navigate daily life.  The term “cognitive communication disorder” refers to a wide spectrum of issues caused by trauma to the brain, which typically impacts the skills listed above. Cognitive communication disorders are most commonly identified in adults due to stroke or traumatic brain injury. However, they can also be diagnosed in children. Some children who have suffered a brain injury or accident of some kind will exhibit impaired cognitive-communication skills, though this impairment may not be properly identified until they are older. 

Symptoms of cognitive communication disorder can appear as challenges in the following areas:

Maintaining attention - difficulty following and maintaining a conversation with friends or family.

Listening effectively - difficulty recalling instructions or details of a conversation or lesson.

Vocal expression of thoughts or feelings - difficulty describing feelings and expressing thoughts logically.

Literacy skills - challenges with reading and writing, including retaining information

The impact of these challenges on effective communication can be significant, as individuals may not be able to identify dangerous situations or manage their emotions effectively, often causing them to struggle in social, academic, and professional environments. 

If you suspect your child or a loved one is struggling with a cognitive communication disorder, a qualified Speech-Language Pathologist can properly assess specific challenges and work with the individual to overcome them. Great Speech offers a wide range of services to support individuals of all ages, develop strong communication skills, and thrive in a variety of environments and situations. Getting started with one of our experienced speech therapists begins by scheduling your free introductory call today!

What Causes Cognitive Communication Disorder?

It is common for cognitive communication disorders to occur alongside other conditions that affect communication, often making it difficult to determine the exact underlying cause. In some cases, communication challenges are connected to a more general cognitive impairment, whereas other cases may be due to aphasia or a cognitive communication disorder. 

Cognitive-communicative disorders are most commonly caused by the following conditions:

How Does Cognitive Communication Disorder Affect Speech?

An individual with a cognitive communication disorder may:

  • Struggle to Participate in Conversations
  • Find it Difficult to Understand Others
  • Find Responding in a Timely Manner Challenging
  • Have Difficulty Speaking Clearly or Expressing Themselves Effectively
  • Struggle with Decision Making During Communication
  • Have Difficulty Recalling Specific Details, Experiences, or Conversations
  • Find it Difficult to Respond in an Appropriate or Socially Acceptable Fashion
  • Appear to Lack a “Filter” when Speaking
  • Seem Unaware of The Feelings of Others
  • Struggle to Understand Instructions
  • Find Completing Simple Tasks Difficult 

While the symptoms of cognitive communication disorder can vary widely between individual cases, in almost all situations, the ability to communicate effectively and appropriately with others is almost always significantly impacted. 

How to Help Someone with Cognitive Communication Disorder?

In most cases, individuals with cognitive-communication disorders benefit significantly from working closely with a speech and language pathologist to improve their communication skills. Speech therapy for cognitive-communication disorders involves the use of a combination of approaches with the primary goals being restoring cognitive function, compensating for particular deficits, and providing education to the individual as well as family members, loved ones, and caregivers. 

Techniques for Restoring Cognitive Function

  • Exercises that Reprogram Cognitive Processes
  • Strategies that Target Internal Memory, Word Retrieval, and Recall
  • Tasks that Increase in Difficulty With Support
  • Activities that Build Confidence and Promote Independence

Approaches for Compensation of Deficits 

  • External Strategies to Support Communication
  • Demonstrating New Approaches to Problem Solving & Planning (such as planning, executing, review)
  • Establishing Specific Schedules & Routines

Education Strategies 

  • Ensuring the Individual and Loved Ones are Aware of Specific Deficits
  • Reviewing Evaluation Results 
  • Strategies for Problem-Solving at Home 
  • Communicating Specific Communication Goals 

During speech therapy for cognitive communication disorders, the speech and language pathologist will focus on achieving functional outcomes and overcoming specific challenges relating to the disorder. The goal of this type of therapy is to restore as much cognitive functioning as possible and provide strategies and techniques to help the individual communicate effectively and successfully interact with others. If you or someone you care about are ready to get started with one of our specialized speech therapists, schedule your free introductory call today! 

What is Cognitive Communication in Speech Therapy? What is Cognitive Therapy in Speech Therapy?

Cognitive communication in speech therapy simply refers to the integration and cooperation of cognitive functions and communication skills. Cognitive therapy in speech therapy targets the improvement of skills that enable affected individuals to process information and use language to effectively express themselves. 

Speech therapy for cognitive communication uses customized approaches that are tailored to meet the specific needs of the individual and target the specific deficits and challenges they are facing. Just as the impact on communication can vary widely among cases, so do the treatment approaches. Some individuals may need more help with social communication, navigating social situations, and understanding social norms and non-verbal cues. Others may need support with vocabulary, recall, and mastering specific movements and processes needed for speech production. 

Whatever the specific challenges may be, speech therapy for cognitive communication disorder helps individuals restore cognitive function, improve overall communication skills, and enhance the individual’s ability to fully participate in all aspects of daily life. 

If you’re ready to get started with speech therapy, we will connect you with one of our specialized speech and language pathologists within 3 days of your introductory call. Don’t wait - book your free call with us today!