Over the last few weeks, we’ve discussed different facets of cognition and executive function and how they can affect communication. Today, we continue our series and focus on memory.

Memory difficulties can arise for a variety of reasons. But whatever the cause, memory difficulties can have a serious impact on communication. For this reason, speech-language pathologists are often involved in the rehabilitational therapy of those who experience issues with memory. One way in which a speech-language pathologist may help a person to augment their memory is by teaching compensatory memory strategies.


Compensatory memory strategies fall into two broad categories: internal and external. Internal compensatory strategies are ways of thinking or structuring information so that it is more easily stored and retrieved. The following are some common internal compensatory strategies:

Visualization: Creating a picture or short movie in the mind that depicts the information that you need to remember in a visual manner

Association: Linking new information to information you already know. For example, if you needed to remember the name of a person you just met, you may think of a person you already know with the same name, and associate those two individuals in your mind.

Chunking: Dividing large amounts of information into smaller groups. One common example of chunking is how we remember phone numbers. We typically don’t think of phone numbers as consisting of seven distinct digits. Rather, we group the first three and latter four together to make two small groups.


Check in with us next week for part two on memory, when we’ll discuss external compensatory strategies.


If you or someone you love has a communication disorder, contact Speech Associates of New York and allow our professionally trained and certified speech-language pathologists help you communicate to the best of your ability. Our team provides in-home evaluations and therapy, and is trained in the assessment and treatment of a range of pediatric and adult speech, language and communication disorders. Call us today at (917) 841-2965 and find out how we can help you communicate your best!

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