Cognitive Speech Therapy for Adults
Cognitive speech therapy is an effective solution for adults facing a range of difficulties. It may benefit those recovering from brain injuries, aging adults with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and anyone looking to enhance their communication abilities.
Speech therapy is often sought to address language disorders caused by Parkinson’s Disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease aphasia. But speech therapists also assist those suffering from cognitive issues like attention, memory or learning issues.
These difficulties may be the result of an accident, chronic medical condition or stroke. In most cases, a speech therapist will begin by assessing the individual’s needs and then create a treatment plan tailored towards that person.
Speech therapy typically starts with an assessment by a speech-language pathologist to identify the communication issue and recommend treatment options. During each session, your SLP will use techniques to help you speak clearly and fluently with confidence.
If you have difficulty pronouncing certain sounds or speaking clearly, it could be due to an issue with your tongue, mouth or jaw. This could be the result of a speech disorder like apraxia or simply due to conditions affecting the shape of your mouth such as cleft palate or swollen tonsils.
Speech therapy offers a range of exercises to rewire your brain and boost neuroplasticity. Many can be done from home, and your SLP will suggest which ones would be most beneficial for you.
Cognitive speech therapy can help improve your memory by practicing spaced retrieval. You do this by creating flashcards with important information to remember and then waiting a few minutes before trying to recall it. Doing this helps build up your memory capacity as well as increase speed when recalling new data.
Therapists can assist you in recognising patterns in your memory by connecting the different pieces of information you are trying to retain. They may also encourage you to jot down what has been retained so that it can be reviewed later.
Other exercises you can do in speech therapy to strengthen your memory include reading aloud, playing word games and using a brain teaser game. These can be fun and stimulating ways to keep the mind engaged.
Create a memory calendar to stay organized and focused on goals, tasks and appointments. This is particularly helpful for those with aphasia as it will keep you organized and on track with tasks.
This exercise is an effective way to increase motivation at home, but it’s essential that you follow the instructions on the calendar and continue practicing so that your skills improve quickly. To get started, download our printable template here or check out our functional cognitive task guide for additional ideas.