What is Cognition?
Cognition is a term that refers to the mental processes that are involved in gaining comprehension and knowledge. A few of the many various cognitive processes are thinking, knowing, judging, remembering, and problem-solving. These are higher-level functions of the brain and encompass language, imagination, perception, and planning. Language and language development are essential cognitive processes that include the skills required to understand and express feelings and thoughts through written and spoken language. These skills allow us to communicate effectively with others and play a vital role in independent thought and expression. When cognitive is affected, our speech and language skills can also be negatively impacted. Working with an experienced speech and language pathologist is one of the best resources for someone who is struggling with their language skills due to their cognitive health. Getting started with a speech therapist is as simple as scheduling your free introductory call today!
What Can Affect Cognition?
It is important to note that cognitive processes in most people are complicated and frequently imperfect. Some of the factors that can affect cognitive health and processes include:
Studies have demonstrated that as we get older, our cognitive function typically declines. Some of the age-related changes to cognition include processing things at a slower rate, difficulty recalling past events, and failure to remember information that was previously known.
Cognitive biases refer to systematic errors in thought processes related to how people interpret and process information about the world. A common example of this is confirmation bias. Confirmation bias involves paying attention to only the information that aligns with your current beliefs while ignoring information or evidence that doesn’t align with your views.
There have been multiple studies that have proven the connection between cognitive function and certain genes. For example, a study conducted in 2020 found that an individual’s level of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is 30% determined by heritability, can have a significant impact on the rate of brain neurodegeneration, which is a condition that negatively impacts cognitive health and function.
How Does Cognitive Function Affect Speech?
Someone with poor cognitive health may struggle with participating in conversations and thriving in a variety of social situations. They may have more difficulty understanding what is being said to them, or they may have difficulty replying within an appropriate time frame. Some people with cognitive difficulties may find it difficult to speak clearly or communicate their thoughts and feelings effectively. Difficulties related to reasoning and decision-making when communicating can also occur. Remembering past conversations and experiences can also be difficult. Responding in an appropriate or socially acceptable way is also typically challenging for someone with a cognitive disorder or impairment. In some cases, it may appear that they lack a filter or express their thoughts or feelings in a way that isn’t appropriate or might be hurtful to others.
In addition to problems with conversation, cognitive deficits can also make it difficult to understand and interpret instructions, presentations, and media (tv, radio, etc,) It is also common to have difficulties with reading and writing skills, which can make completing some everyday tasks and retaining meaningful employment even more challenging. Help is always available and getting connected with a speech therapist online is easier than ever. Get started on your way to optimal cognitive health by scheduling your free introductory call today!
What is Cognitive Speech Therapy? What is the goal of Cognitive-Communication Therapy?
Cognitive speech therapy is a form of therapy that focuses on a wide variety of speaking & communication skills. Some of the areas cognitive speech therapy focuses on are memory, language, and improving overall cognitive health. Cognitive impairments or deficits can range in severity, from mild impairments to more severe conditions such as dementia.
Cognitive speech therapy is a vital piece of the puzzle when it comes to identifying whether an individual is affected by cognitive challenges related to age or if something else is going on. An experienced speech and language pathologist will begin by performing a thorough evaluation, identifying which challenges and difficulties may be affecting cognition and speech and language skills. From there, the speech-language pathologist will create a completely unique treatment plan with the goal of improving overall cognitive health. Treatment plans in cognitive speech therapy usually include cognitive brain exercises, techniques to compensate for various deficits, and long-term support and education for the individual as well as loved ones and caregivers.
Does Speech Therapy Help with Cognition?
Speech therapy is an essential resource when helping someone who is struggling with their cognitive health or memory loss. Speech and language pathologists are experts when it comes to providing guidance and support, as well as strengthening and improving cognitive function. Speech and language therapy has been proven to help adults who are struggling with cognitive decline and memory loss due to a stroke, degenerative disease, or traumatic brain injury. Speech therapy works by addressing memory loss and other cognitive deficits by stimulating certain areas of the brain and aiding in improving speech as well as improving overall memory and information retention.
Individuals who experience memory loss tend to struggle with certain elements of speech and language, such as understanding and interpreting certain meanings or words or phrases, as well as executing basic grammar, word formation, and sentence structure. They may also have difficulty with speech articulation and the fluidity, tone, and prosody of their speech. Speech therapists are highly knowledgeable and experienced at targeting these kinds of issues, as well as exercising the memory in order to stimulate new growth and learning opportunities. Family members and loved ones are often invited to join in therapy sessions, as familiar and loving people are encouraging and help to bring up positive feelings and happy memories.
If you or someone you care about is having difficulties with their speech, language, and communication skills as a result of memory loss or cognitive deficits, help is available. Online speech therapy is an excellent resource that can benefit any individuals who may be struggling with a variety of challenges related to communication. Start your journey towards improved memory, cognition, and communication skills by scheduling your free introductory call today!