Cognitive deficits affect one or all of the following areas: attention, memory, problem solving, reasoning, organizing, planning, and awareness of deficits.  These deficits impact communication by decreasing the efficiency and effectiveness of comprehension, expression, and pragmatics.  Conversations may focus on insignificant details and speech may be rambling.

Focus in cognitive therapy may be on verbally sequencing events for the completion of activities of daily living (i.e. laundry, dishes, dressing, etc.), complex problem solving tasks (i.e. cooking safety), functional math tasks (i.e. checkbook balancing/writing), functional reading tasks (i.e. medicine label, menu, newspapers, etc.), and organizational tasks (i.e. party planning, management of medications, taking messages, etc.).

Focus in cognitive therapy may also be on use of external memory aids (i.e. training and use of calendars in order to schedule events and keep track of appointments), training in memory strategies (i.e. silent rehearsals, word associations) to improve recall of daily events, memory aids for simple routine (i.e. use of clock, calendar, schedules, watch), and orientation to current living environment.