Outpatient Speech-Language and Cognitive Therapy at UPMC

If you have cognitive-linguistic problems due to stroke, traumatic brain injury, or multiple sclerosis, we can help.

UPMC's speech-language pathologists assess and treat cognitive-linguistic deficits that can affect attention, memory, problem solving, and other daily skills.

The goal of our outpatient speech-language and cognitive therapy services is to give you the tools you need to communicate well in your everyday environment, including the workplace.

Symptoms of Cognitive-Linguistic Problems

Symptoms of cognitive-linguistic problems may include having trouble with:

  • Attention
  • Memory
  • Visuospatial skills
  • Social interaction
  • Problem solving skills
  • Awareness, insight, judgment
  • Executive function — cognitive abilities that control and regulate other abilities and behaviors, such as the ability to:
    • Anticipate outcomes
    • Initiate and stop actions
    • Monitor and change behavior appropriately
    • Plan future behavior when faced with novel tasks and situations

Types of Speech-Language Impairments

You may have been told you have one, all, or any blend of the acquired speech-language impairments below:

  • Aphasia — an acquired communicative impairment that may affect the ability to understand others, speak, read and/or write.
  • Dysarthria — a general term to describe several motor speech disorders caused by muscle weakness, paralysis, slowness, dyscoordination, or sensory loss. Dysarthria may produce “slurred speech.”
  • Apraxia — a disturbance of speech resulting from impairment of the ability to program commands for the positioning and movement of muscles for the voluntary production of speech in the absence of muscle weakness.

Signs You May Benefit from Cognitive Therapy

You may benefit from cognitive therapy following a stroke, traumatic brain injury, or if you have multiple sclerosis.

After a stroke

Following a stroke, you may have problems:

  • Finding words or getting words out when speaking.
  • Putting words together to make phrases and sentences.
  • Pronouncing your words because the muscles in your face, tongue, and lips are weak.
  • Performing the motor-planning necessary for producing speech.
  • Maintaining the rhythm of your speech.
  • Grasping what others are saying.
  • Understanding television shows.
  • Reading or retaining what you read.
  • Writing.

After a traumatic brain injury or if you have multiple sclerosis

You may have trouble with the following:

  • Paying attention or maintaining attention.
  • Remembering the day, date, month, year or time.
  • Remembering appointments and important dates.
  • Recalling where you put things.
  • Remembering how to get from one place to another.
  • Sustaining short-term memory.
  • Learning and retaining new information.
  • Organizing thoughts.
  • Organizing tasks in the home and sequencing the steps to complete tasks.
  • Switching from one task to another.
  • Staying on a topic in conversation.
  • Taking turns with others in conversation.
  • Thinking analytically or solving problems.
  • Controlling your impulses.

Speech-Language and Cognitive Therapy Program Focus

UPMC’s speech-language pathologists create this patient-focused treatment with you and your family or caregivers.

Your speech-language pathologist will:

  • Work toward enhancing your ability to speak and understand spoken language.
  • Focus on improvement of memory and other cognitive-linguistic areas through direct treatment and other strategies that are meaningful, functional, and appropriate to your needs.

Contact Us

You will need a referral from your doctor for outpatient speech-language and cognitive therapy services.

To learn more about other speech-language pathology services at UPMC:

Contact Us

University Ear, Nose,
& Throat Specialists (Oakland)

203 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Phone: 412-647-6461

Email the Division of Speech-Language Pathology. »

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For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

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