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Transformative Care: The Vital Role of Speech Therapy in Supporting Cognitive- Communication Impairments

Updated: Jul 2

Cognitively impaired individuals are described as those whose skills and abilities they had before their accident or medical problem are now either absent or have some defect that compromises their ability to function.

Cognitive impairments can be caused by:

  • Head trauma

  • Neurological conditions (Parkinson’s Disease, Stroke, and more)

  • Dementia/Alzheimer’s disease

  • Anoxia (absence of oxygen)

  • Encephalopathy (caused by bacterial or viral infection)

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) evidence supports the practice of Cognitive-Communication Treatment Intervention services. These services are provided to individuals with cognitive-communication disorders.

Some Cognitive- communication disorders include:

  • Apraxia: disorder that affects speech programming making words and sentences sound jumbled, difficult to understand, or completely unintelligible.

  • Aphasia: language disorder that is usually the result of damage or disease within the brain that causes challenges related to formulating, understanding, and expressing language.

  • Dysarthria: includes a category of speech disorders that are caused by muscle weakness, paralysis, or inability to coordinate the muscles required for speech.

  • Articulation Disorders: this is the result of neurological damage from a stroke or head injury and affect the individual’s ability to produce certain letter sounds. A lisp is an example of an articulation disorder.

  • Problems in the ability to perceive, attend to, organize, and remember information

  • Problems related to reasoning and problem solving

  • Problems with self-regulatory control over cognitive, language, and social skills functioning

Speech therapy can provide a wide range of benefits and opportunities. It is common for adults to ignore possible cognitive- communication problems or put off seeking support because much of the education around speech therapy is geared towards children. The reality is that Speech therapist are experienced with working with people of all ages. Speech therapy for adults can help by improving cognitive-communication skills to benefit academic, professional, social advancement, and boost self-esteem.

Unable to visit a speech therapist in person? Take advantage of virtual speech therapy sessions. POST Rehab and Wellness offers virtual speech therapy services for those who may find it difficult to work speech therapy appointments into their daily lives.

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