What are Cognitive-Communication Skills?

What are Cognitive-Communication Skills?

Cognitive-communication skills are the skills that we use in our communication related to cognition. Cognitive-Communication skills involve the following:

  • Orientation: knowing such things as the date, your name, your current location
  • Attention: the ability to concentrate without getting distracted
  • Perception: recognizing objects, as well as their use
  • Memory: remembering recent events and relevant information
  • Organization & Reasoning:  poor organization skills, and limited problem solving abilities and overall judgment
  • Problem Solving: the ability to manage every day and unforeseen problems
  • Impulsivity: Awareness of danger or consequences, and the ability to control reactions
  • Planning and Sequencing: The ability to accomplish tasks with multiple steps such as being able to make a cup of coffee
  • Social Behavior:  The ability to interact with and react appropriately to other people
  • Emotional Ability: The regulation of emotions and ability to control emotional reactions in an appropriate way

Does Cognitive Function Affect Speech?

Communication is a highly complex skill set that is a part of what is known as ‘cognition’. Processes that involve cognition include abilities related to orientation, attention, memory, sequencing and planning, perception, social behavior, organization, and emotional regulation. When one’s cognitive function is affected, skills related to speech, language, and communication can also be affected. This is known as a cognitive-communication impairment or disorder. Speech and language pathologists are experts when it comes to helping and supporting people who may be struggling with their communication skills as a result of a cognitive impairment. If you or someone you love would benefit from this kind of support, don’t hesitate. Help is available. Get started by scheduling your free introductory call today! 

What is a Cognitive-Communication Disorder?

The cognitive processes listed above are not isolated or independant abilities, they must work together. An issue with one or more of these cognitive functions can result in challenges performing everyday activities properly and safely and communicating effectively. An evaluation by an experienced speech-language pathologist can identify where impairments may be present and how to best treat them.

Someone with a cognitive-communication disorder may experience difficulty with maintaining their focus or attention in a conversation, staying on topic, remembering pertinent information, responding accurately to questions, comprehending jokes, cliches, or metaphors, or following simple directions.

Cognitive-communication disorders can vary substantially in symptoms and severity. Someone whose condition is mild may simply have difficulty with focus and concentration in a loud environment, whereas someone with a more severe impairment may not be able to communicate at all. Speech therapy can be a vital resource for helping someone with a cognitive-communication disorder, and getting started is easier than ever. Get started by scheduling your free introductory call today! 

What Causes Cognitive-Communication Disorder? 

Cognitive communication disorders can frequently occur with other language difficulties such as aphasia. In some cases, it can be difficult to figure out whether an individual’s communication difficulties are due to aphasia, a cognitive-communication disorder, or a more general cognitive impairment. Speech and language pathologists and occupational therapists often work closely together to attempt to establish where the specific difficulties lie and how they might be best treated.

Cognitive-communicative impairments typically occur as a result of one of the following conditions:

  • Traumatic Brain Injury
  • Stroke
  • Old Age
  • Brain Tumors or Lesions
  • Hypoxic Brain Damage
  • A Viral Infection
  • Dementia

How do Speech Disorders Affect Cognitive Development?

Developmental speech and language disorders can also be a result of an injury to the brain or problems with brain development. Articulation disorders can often occur when a child experiences difficulties pronouncing certain consonants or vowel sounds correctly. Often, children with these disorders omit, distort, or replace the vowel or consonant sounds that they find difficult. One of the most common types of articulation disorder is a lisp. In some cases, articulation disorders are the result of brain damage or an existing brain disorder. They can also be caused by a physical disability, hearing loss, or cerebral palsy. 

Articulation disorders and other speech, language, and communication disorders can affect cognitive development by their effect on confidence and independence. When independence and confidence are affected, the individual may begin to withdraw or shut down. When this occurs, opportunities for growth and development become limited. The right support and guidance are essential when it comes to helping someone who may be struggling with the development of their communication skills. 

How Can Speech Therapy Help with Cognitive-Communication Disorders?

Treatment with a speech and language pathologist works to identify and address impairments, as well as provide strategies to work towards goals and support the areas and skills that are impacted. During appointments, the focus will be on the functional outcomes that will make significant impacts on the quality of life of the individual. Time with a speech therapist will help them to return to activities that bring them joy and provide the necessary support and resources for the individual, as well as their loved ones and caregivers. An individual with a cognitive-communication impairment will need support and encouragement as they work to improve their communication. With the proper support at home and help from a knowledgeable and experienced speech therapist, someone with a cognitive-communication disorder can make significant changes and improvements within their cognitive and communication skills and processes. With speech therapy now being available virtually through Great Speech, connecting with the right speech therapist and getting started is easier than ever. Online speech therapy means that there is no wasted time or money, and the right speech therapist can offer expert treatment from anywhere in the country. All you need is a calm space to work in and access to the internet. Why wait? Get started today by scheduling your free introductory call