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Cognitive Speech Therapy: Need, Benefits & Methods

Nearly 7.7% of US children aged between 3-17 years have disorders related to speech, voice, language, and swallowing.

These disorders such as childhood dysarthria greatly affect the quality of their life and can lead to problems like social isolation and emotional distress as well. But should this happen to anyone? Of course not! And there are ways to overcome these disorders.

Gone are the days when speech and language disorders could hamper your quest to achieve excellence. Gone are the excuses that limit your greatness to any inborn trait.

Cognitive speech therapy is proving to the world out there how limitations are more so a sprout that arises from the mind and how the very brain hunched between your shoulders can help you overcome that with sheer persistence and will-power.

Given that results can differ from person to person, it is challenging to give a precise percentage of people who find cognitive speech therapy useful or effective. However, some studies regarding the same have shown some crucial insights such as the one where cognitive-communication therapy for adults with traumatic brain injury significantly improved the majority of participants' communication outcomes.

Similar results were reported in a trial of cognitive-behavioural therapy for stuttering, which showed that the majority of participants experienced significant reductions in the severity of their stuttering as a result of the therapy.


What is COGNITIVE SPEECH THERAPY?

Cognitive speech therapy addresses the underlying cognitive processes associated with speech and language. It recognizes the interlinking between speech/language and memory, attention, and problem assessment. People with speech disorders often feel side-lined in a group setting due to their incapability to pin out their point of understanding. To combat this, cognitive speech therapy offers techniques to improve and uplift communication skills, language skills, and the overall quality of life.


WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM THIS?

Cognitive speech therapy can benefit individuals of all ages who are experiencing speech and language disorders that are related to cognitive processes. They can effectively be used for dysarthria treatment. It can also be used in cases such as :

a) Aphasia: a language disorder that affects a person's ability to speak, understand, read, and write.

b) Dysarthria: a motor speech disorder that affects the ability to articulate sounds, resulting in slurred or difficult-to-understand speech.

c) Cognitive-communication disorders: difficulties with communication that are caused by underlying cognitive deficits, such as memory problems or difficulty with problem-solving.

d) Stuttering: a speech disorder that involves repetitions, prolongations, or blocks of sounds, syllables, or words.

e) Traumatic brain injury: an injury to the brain that can result in a range of cognitive and communication difficulties.

f) Neurodegenerative diseases: diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, which can impact cognitive and communication abilities.

The effectiveness of this technique differs from person to person and depends on various inherent factors lying in an individual. A variety of speech and language impairments that are linked to cognitive processes can be treated with cognitive speech therapy, which is a versatile and effective therapy.


WHAT METHODS ARE INCLUDED?

It often entails a mix of activities and methods intended to focus on particular linguistic and cognitive abilities. the methods curated include:

a) Attention and memory training: Exercises designed to improve the ability to focus attention, remember information, and process language.

b) Problem-solving and reasoning tasks: Exercises designed to improve the ability to think critically and solve problems related to communication.

c) Language exercises focus on improving vocabulary, grammar, and syntax.

d) Social communication activities: that are effective in social situations.

Overall, statistical evidence points to the potential effectiveness of cognitive speech therapy in enhancing communication outcomes for people with a range of speech and language impairments. However, depending on the kind and degree of the disorder as well as other personal factors, the precise results and effect sizes may change.

So, cognitive speech theory is excellent in helping individuals with dysarthria and other speech disorders. So, whether you’re seeing dysarthria symptoms in your child or are keen to know the causes of dysarthria or it’s any other speech-related disorder, you can take your child for cognitive speech therapy and it is sure to help to a significant level making them more confident about themselves and giving them the freedom to communicate quite normally without letting the disorders hindering them or holding them back!


Some Studies to Refer

a) Effectiveness in traumatic brain injuries. (Giles et al., 2021).

b) Individuals with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. (Chung et al., 2019)

c) A significant decrease in stuttering frequency and severity, with a moderate effect size (O’Brian et al., 2018).

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