Rehabilitation following stroke or brain injury.

How can speech pathologists help with cognitive communication?

Speech pathologists can play a key role in the assessment and treatment of people who have sustained a traumatic brain injury or stroke. The damage that can occur to the neurological pathways can vary from mild to severe and may have lifelong deficits with significant implications. The speech and language processing areas of the brain can be affected in different ways and a speech pathologist will work closely with the patient, caregivers, and medical team to support an intervention program. Cognitive communication is just one area the speech pathologist may support.

Cognitive communication is an umbrella term that includes spoken, reading, and written language skills, as well as non-verbal communication (e.g. tone of voice, facial expression, and appropriateness of interactions.) Each individual will have their own unique strengths and challenges but impairments in the following may be present:

  • Naming– difficulty thinking of a word or how words may be related
  • Expressing – even seemingly simple tasks such as describing how to make a cup of coffee can be greatly impaired
  • Social Skills – struggling to know how to start, maintain, finish, or act in a conversation and sometimes doing or saying inappropriate, long-winded, or ‘odd’ things
  • Planning and Organisation – this might include thoughts, messages, and general daily tasks that were not a problem before
  • Listening and Attention – auditory memory and attention, and reading comprehension and retention are all areas that may be affected leading to miscommunication and frustration
  • Emotional Lability and Insight – a patient may not have a true understanding of their situation and may have outbursts of laughter, anger, or upset that do not fit the context

Contact Optimal Communications today  on 07 5528 2222 to see how we can support you or your loved ones in their rehabilitation following stroke or brain injury.

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