Cognitive Communication Therapy

Four year-old Sarah was playing a game on her mom’s iPad. She started the game touching the correct answers, and then began flipping through the pictures without taking the time to respond appropriately. She quickly pressed restart to return to the main menu and chose another game and repeated the same sequence. She chose five games without completing any of them.

Sarah either lacks the basic cognitive skills to understand the game’s requirements, or she lacks the focus and attention to sustain the task to complete a game sequence from beginning to end. These executive functions require cognitive skills which underlie all communication.

What are the basic elements of cognitive development?

  1. Problem solving – identifying a problem depends on recognizing what is a usual sequence, and understanding how to correct something out of order
  2. Mental planning – projecting into the future how your actions will impact the sequence of events to make predictions and draw conclusions
  3. Self-monitoring – being self-aware of how your actions match up with my plans
  4. Evaluation and self-correction – making self judgments of behavior in the moment and taking steps to correct for a more effective outcome

Cognitive Communication is required for:

  1. Communication in play develops with isolated or other-directed play, parallel play,  imaginative role play with peers, and play-by-rules games.
  2. Adaptability using various forms & functions to enable the individual to use language for different purposes and with different people having various roles in their world (i.e. principal, parent, sibling, parental friend, acquaintance, teacher, store clerk)
  3. Purposeful verbal interaction that involves back and forth dialogue such as asking questions for information, making requests, and greetings in social rituals that we all use to establish and maintain play, conversation, have discussions, make group plans, explain directions, and solve problems.
  4. Play with language where the child enjoys a fascination with sounds, words, syllables and grammatical structure of language. Humor emerges as self-monitoring, evaluation, and self-correction emerge for telling jokes, riddles, rhymes, chants, and rhythm games. It requires the ability to visualize the inner picture the words convey and evaluate if they are reasonable or ridiculous. This cognitive skill enables the individual to understand “Bloopers,” multiple word meanings, descriptions and figures of speech.

Cognitive development is built by sustaining auditory and visual focus, attention, and understanding basic concepts.  Further, it requires auditory and visual discrimination, memory/ recall and identification of the primary message as well as the ability to “tune out” the background. Speech therapy that uses activities that stimulate and develop these cognitive communication

  Center for Therapeutic Strategies, Quantum Treatment Solutions, and Therapeutic Strategies, P.C. do not diagnose, treat, nor prescribe for a specific medical condition or illness and any recommendation made is not intended to replace the advice of a licensed medical practitioner.