How Does Memory Affect Speech?

How Does Memory Affect Speech?

While speech and memory aren’t exactly directly related, children and adults with language or communication difficulties can also often struggle to recall certain information. This is especially true in cases where challenges with speech are a result of cognitive impairments. There are many strategies and exercises that can be used to help improve speech and memory, whether the speech and memory issues are related to a cognitive delay, a traumatic brain injury, or the result of a degenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s.

If you want to learn more about how speech and memory work together, schedule your free introductory call today with one of our highly specialized speech therapists. 

What are Cognition and Memory?

Memory is the ability to recall or recount certain information in a timely manner. Many children who are affected by language or cognitive impairments struggle with the memory pieces that accompany the learning and mastering of new speech and language skills. 

Cognition is the ability to think and analyze information. Cognitive impairments can also make it difficult for children to acquire and engage in new skills. 

What are Word Retrieval and Recall?

Word retrieval is the ability to think of an appropriate or specific word at the moment that we need to. Everyone experiences getting stuck and being unable to think of a certain word despite knowing its meaning and having used it in the past. Some children with language disorders struggle with word retrieval due to disorganization within the language centers of the brain. Some children may have a very strong and expansive vocabulary but still struggle to retrieve the word they want during the conversation. 

Recall is the ability to remember and recount a series of events logically and in the correct order to another person. This skill involves not only strong memory, speech, and language skills, but also the ability to plan and organize one’s thoughts. 

What is Working Memory?

Working memory is the ability to hear something, understand and interpret it, and use that information to take action or complete a task. When we are given a simple math problem (“What’s 3 + 3?) We use our working memory to listen to the problem, interpret it, make our calculations and deliver our answer. Language abilities can be highly dependent on this skill set.

Language development and working memory work closely together and language skills depend significantly on working memory. When we are in conversation or watching a movie, we use working memory to listen to the words that are being spoken, interpret them and store the meaning or information we extract from them. This process occurs both at the sound and word levels. The sound level refers to the process of our brain decoding the sounds and translating those sounds into words. At the word level, our brain must take the words, decipher their meaning, and remember them long enough to complete whichever action is being asked of them.

In some cases, children who struggle with working memory can appear to struggle with attention or poor behavior. Efforts to improve their working memory can go a long way towards improving behavior as well as speech and language skills and lead which can ultimately lead to better academic success. Connect with one of our speech therapists to learn more about improving your working memory! Schedule your free introductory call today!

Do Speech Therapists Work on Memory? How Can Speech Therapy Help?

There are lots of fun and engaging games and activities that you can do with your child to promote their memory as it supports speech and language development. Speech therapists are dedicated to making sure that working with your child on memory skills will be fun and effective. Games and activities related to storytelling, Simon says and Broken Telephone can be excellent ways to exercise a child’s memory. Speech therapists create custom treatment plans that are completely unique to each of their client’s needs. Often speech therapists will also make suggestions to help the child compensate for deficiencies in working memory through the use of tools such as calendars, note-taking, engaging the other senses, and building routines.

Speech and language therapy has also been proven to be beneficial to adults struggling with memory loss due to a stroke, degenerative disease, or traumatic brain injury. Memory loss can deeply affect a person’s ability to function in their daily life. Often people experiencing memory loss experience feelings of isolation, anxiety, and feeling upset about a perceived loss of independence or dignity. Speech therapy can work to address memory and other cognitive deficits. Therapy can help to stimulate parts of the brain and aid in improving speech as well as improving information retention.

People who experience memory loss typically struggle with certain aspects of speech and language, such as struggling to understand certain meanings, as well as basic grammar and word-formation. They may also struggle with speech articulation as well as the fluidity and prosody of their speech. Speech therapists are experts at targeting these types of challenges as well as using memory to stimulate new growth and learning. Often family members are invited to join in therapy sessions, as familiar people can help to trigger past happy memories and positive emotions. Speech therapy has shown to not only improve speech and communication in Alzheimer’s patients but can also slow down the progression of the disease. 

There is assistance available if you or someone you care about is having trouble speaking or communicating due to memory loss or impairments. Online speech therapy is an excellent resource that can benefit a wide variety of people who may be struggling with any number of challenges. You can meet with your highly specialized and qualified speech and language pathologist from the comfort of your own home. Start your journey towards improved memory and communication skills and schedule your free introductory call today! 


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