Saturday, July 20, 2013

Word Finding and a FREEBIE Parent Resource!

"It's over there by that thing." "Ugh, I just can't think of the word!"  Sound familiar?  

We all have moments of difficulty retrieving a word... it's on the "tip of our tongue" but we just can't find it.  However, for some students, word finding can be very frustrating, and can be more than just a fleeting moment of a word retrieval problem.  For students experiencing this, he/she may know the correct answer to a question, but may be unable to appropriately express what they know. 

Some common characteristics of word finding difficulties are:

- Fillers: Examples include "uh", "like", etc. These words do not contribute to a statement or conversation.

- Word or phrase repetitions: Examples include "and the and the" or "monkey monkey" (exhibited within a longer sentence).  

- Phrase or sentence revisions: Examples include "Then the boy, Lila walked into the kitchen." or "The dog, we ate at the picnic table."

- Delays: Significant pauses observed within a sentence.

- Word substitutions: Examples include "The dog ate the leash (bone)." or "Molly took out a plate (bowl) to put the soup in."

If you suspect that your child has word retrieval difficulties and these difficulties are significantly affecting your child's educational performance, contact a speech-language pathologist.  If you are looking for a few suggestions as to how to help improve your child's word finding difficulties, I have a free resource at my TpT store that might help.  You can access this resource HERE.

Do you have any helpful tips or tricks for targeting word retrieval difficulties?


  1. Great word finding tips for parents! Maybe add one phonological tip as word retrieval is often related to phonological weakness (tapping out the syllables in a word for recall).

  2. Like the freebie...great for parents and teachers! I agree with the above comment that sometimes a phonological cue will help. However I do use that particular cue only in appropriate situations as sometimes our APD kiddos (who also exhibit word retrieval issues) will often times retrieve a phonologically similar word however unrelated. Ex. I once had a kiddo say "practice" for "preschool" but after semantic cue..."the school we go to before kindergarten when we were 3 or 4" he was able to correctly retrieve the word. So phonological cue can be very helpful for some children and we as SLPs need to determine which cues best work for each child before we recommend to parents or teachers how to cue them. I think your freebie is right on for general ways to assist in word finding for children we may not be familiar with. Well done...great topic for discussion!