Cognitive-communication disorders are those in which a person has difficulty communicating because of injury to the brain that controls the ability to think. When a child (or adult) has a cognitive-communication disorder, he or she may struggle with memory, organization and problem solving that can make it difficult to properly speak, listen, read, write or interact in social situations.
- Difficulty keeping normal sleep and wake cycles.
- A decline in previously established play and language skills.
- Struggles to pay attention, especially in a distracting environment.
- Memory problems or appear to be forgetful.
- Difficulty to remember information the child has previously learned or memorized, like birthdate, address or parent’s phone number.
- Difficulty organizing themselves at school or to complete a project at home.
- Quick shifts or overall changes in personality.
- Memory Problems.
- Learning Disorders.
- Attention Problems.
- Problems with Executive Functioning. (Executive functioning is the processes that helps people connect their past experiences with their present action. This process is used for planning, organizing, remembering details and managing time and space.)
- Articulation disorders occur when a child has difficulties pronouncing certain consonants or vowels correctly (such as the letters "s" and "r"). Children with these disorders leave out, replace or distort the sounds of vowels or consonants that they have difficulty pronouncing. A common type of articulation disorder is a lisp. In many cases, the cause for articulation disorders is unknown and are often not a cause for concern. These disorders are common in young children and most are able to pronounce words correctly by the age of five. Caregivers who note an articulation disorder in a child older than age five should speak with the child’s doctor.
Sometimes articulation disorders are caused by brain damage or brain disorders. They may also be caused by physical handicaps, such as a cleft palate, hearing loss, or cerebral palsy. In other cases, the condition may be caused by poor coordination of muscles in the mouth or dental problems.
- Fluency disorders, also called rhythm disorders, occur when an individual speaks in an uneven rhythm. Naturally flowing speech moves at an appropriate rate with an easy rhythm and smoothness that is both effortless and automatic and appropriate for the child’s age. Children with fluency disorders may repeat or add words or sounds when talking. They may also pause in the middle of phrases or frequently correct their pronunciation while talking. They may also say certain words longer than normal. The most well-known fluency disorder is stuttering, which is characterized by the repetition or prolonged pronunciation of words or sounds. Learn more about stuttering.
- Vocal disorders occur when there are problems with the quality, pitch, and/or volume of a child’s voice. Vocal disorders can have many different causes ranging from overuse and strain to reflux to brain injury. Learn more about voice disorders.
- Language delay is when a child develops language skills behind schedule. Learn more about the language development milestones.
- The child's age, overall health and medical history.
- Extent of the disorder.
- Type of disorder.
- Expectations for the course of the disorder.
- The family’s opinion or preference.
- Finding exercises, tricks and techniques to improve the child’s memory and communication.
- Recommending changes that can be made at home and in the classroom that may help the child with his or her cognitive skills.
- Teaching an alternative form of communication, if necessary, like sign language, a picture communication board, simplified verbal speech or an electronic alternative communication device.
- Teaching memory recall skills like journaling, using a calendar system and other skills that may improve immediate, short term or long term memory.
- Teaching children who experience mood changes how to properly interact with friends and those around them, as well as how to deal with mood swings when they happen.