Speech Language Pathologists (SLPs) are responsible for evaluating and treating cognitive-communicative deficits of a TBI. Initially, the SLP will complete a formal evaluation of speech and language, social communication skills, and cognitive/ communicative skills. Following the evaluation, the SLP will develop a treatment and speech therapy plan and provide strategies to target individual deficits.
The cognitive/communicative impairments following a TBI can include deficits in speech, language, social communication, information processing, attention, memory, and swallowing. It is also common to have deficits in executive functioning skills, such as planning and organizing, time management, completing tasks, monitoring and inhibiting behavior and emotions, and prioritizing.
Difficulty producing speech sounds correctly
Difficulty using or understanding the intonation, fluctuations, and inflections of speech
Experiencing aprosodia, the inability to understand or use the affective aspects of speech
Difficulty understanding or using spoken and/or written language
Difficulty understanding the subtleties of language such as using or identifying emotions, facial expressions, gestures, or body language
Difficulty carrying on conversations
Inability or difficulty paying attention or staying on-task
Decrease in memory function
Increased information processing time or decreased information processing skills
Lack of or decrease in executive functioning skills such as: initiation and completion of tasks, self-regulation, sequencing, organizing, prioritizing, time management, or mental flexibility
Difficulty eating or swallowing liquids or foods