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Limitations relating to cognitive impairments are manifested in a variety of ways.  Whether the cause is an acquired brain injury, developmental delay or a neurological disorder, one or more of the following areas may be affected:

Perception: Difficulty understanding speech (receptive aphasia). This condition prevents the person from being able to understand words that are spoken. 

Expression:  Difficulty producing written and spoken language.

Memory:  Short term and long term memory deficits can cause a person to forget specific tasks.  Procedural memory lost can affect a person’s ability to learn new manual tasks such as tying shoes.

Processing:  Attention and staying on tasks capacity may be diminished, affecting many aspects of work and daily living activities.  Poor organization and sequencing creates difficulty with spelling, grammar and sentence structure.  Impairments of executive functions – the ability to complete higher level tasks such as time management, organization and judgment may be affected.

A variety of new and emerging technologies are available to assist persons with cognitive difficulties to increase their independence, find and maintain employment and succeed in school.  Examples of applications in which devices are used as compensatory aids include:

  • Wireless devices such as PDA’s with verbal prompting
  • Portable devices that provide auditory step-by-step instructions
  • PDA’s that use pictures and audio recordings.
  • Medication reminder devices