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The Eckelmann-Taylor Speech and Hearing Clinic provides evaluation and intervention services to adults who have experienced cognitive-communication concerns as a result of a neurological event or episode, or a degenerative disease process.

What is it?

A cognitive-communication impairment is caused by an underlying cognitive deficit, as opposed to a speech and language deficit. This impairment can lead to difficulty with aspects of cognition such as attention, memory, organization, problem-solving and reasoning, processing speed, language, and executive function. A cognitive-communication disorder can affect many aspects of a person’s life, in a variety of ways. Activities of daily living that were once manageable and automatic, may appear more challenging.

More specifically, a person with a suspected or confirmed cognitive-communication disorder may show reduced awareness and ability to appropriately communicate his or her needs to other people. A person with difficulty in this area may also show a decrease in awareness of his or her impairment and how it has affected communication. Memory and judgement may also be impacted in a person with a cognitive-communication disorder, and experiences and conversations shared with others may be easily forgotten. Social communication difficulty and the ability to control ones’ emotions are other possible symptoms of a cognitive-communication impairment.

While there are a number of etiologies associated with a cognitive-communication impairment, most concerns arise following brain tumors, stroke, traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s disease, or other degenerative diseases.

How can a speech-language pathologist help?

Speech-language pathologists at Illinois State University can provide resources and intervention services at the individual and group level, to persons affected with a cognitive-communication impairment. Here, evaluation and treatment are aimed at rehabilitating and strengthening areas of the brain that have impacted cognitive function and communication.

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