1 x 2-hour lecture once-only
5 x 2-hour tutorial-2s per semester
5 x 3-hour tutorial-1s per semester
4 x 3-hour workshops per semester
1 Admission into BSPP-Bachelor of Speech Pathology
1a Admission into HBSPTH-Bachelor of Speech Pathology (Honours)
2 SPTH3901 - Professional Studies and Communication Sciences 3A (Acquired Language Disorders 1)
Must Satisfy: ((1 or 1a) and 2)
Assignment(s); Examination(s); Tests; Tutorial Participation
Topic description

This topic provides a firm theoretical knowledge about the assessment, diagnosis and management of acquired cognitive communication disorders that are associated with the various types of dementia, non-dominant hemisphere strokes and traumatic brain injury.

The focus of this topic is on the actual cognitive and linguistic rehabilitation programs for individuals with cognitive communication disorders. In addition, there will be an extension of the management strategies for aphasia specifically when alternative and augmentative communication is involved and in cases of bilingualism or multilingualism. Much of the content in this topic is presented using a case-based style of teaching where students work collaboratively to explore cases in small groups supported by lectures and workshops.

This topic is fully integrated with SPTH3906 which will introduce the practical clinical skills needed to manage cognitive communication disorders. By the end of this topic and related topics (SPTH3901, SPTH3905 and Motor Speech Disorders from year 2) you will have a firm theoretical and practical understanding of the assessment, differential diagnosis and management of adult acquired speech, language and cognitive communication

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Provide an understanding/ appreciation of the neurological, organic, psychological, social, and functional aspects of acquired language disorders
  • Provide students with the knowledge and principles that are essential for the assessment, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of acquired language disorders
  • Provide students with the knowledge and principles to differentially diagnose acquired language disorders other than aphasia
  • Familiarise students with the procedures of diagnosis and treatment within a psycholinguistic framework
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Explain the main cognitive, linguistic and non-linguistic features of acquired language disorders associated with the various dementias including primary progressive aphasia, right hemisphere damage, and traumatic brain injury (drawing on the basic concepts and theories in neuroscience, aphasiology, cognitive neuropsychology and psycholinguistics)
  2. Discuss the impact of the cognitive communication disorders associated with dementia, stroke and traumatic brain injury on the activity, participation and quality of life of a person and their family
  3. Give a critical account of the assessment procedures used when diagnosing acquired cognitive communication disorders and specific language disorders such as bilingual aphasia
  4. Interpret assessment findings to differentially diagnose acquired motor speech, language and cognitive disorders
  5. Compare and contrast the main treatment approaches used in acquired cognitive communication and language disorders and their evidence base
  6. Apply models of learning to intervention in the context of the damaged brain (e.g. error-free learning)