Word Finding Difficulty
Word finding difficulty is a frustrating ailment. It interrupts the flow of conversations and can discourage the desire to communicate.
However, there are effective strategies to aid word finding difficulty that can significantly improve your ability to communicate.
As a team of certified speech-language pathologists it's our goal to provide you with professional information relevant to word finding difficulties. We will also provide strategies that will improve your word finding abilities.
We will also introduce an innovative way to practice professional word finding exercises at home - everyday - with Word Finding Exercises on DVD!
What is Word Finding Difficulty?
We've all experienced this trouble: You are talking to someone and you suddenly draw a blank. You know what you want to say, but you can't think of the word. Then comes that all too familiar phrase;
"I know the word. It's on the tip of my tongue!"
That is a typical example of word finding difficulty.
Even though it happens to all of us occasionally, it is a disorder that can affect an individual frequently. Various language disorders are typically the cause for people experiencing difficulty with their word finding skills.
Assessing Word Finding Difficulty
Word finding difficulty is usually part of a broader language deficit. However, it can also occur in isolation.
Word finding problems typically result from a stroke, a head injury, dementia, or a tumor. When a disorder affecting language and word finding is diagnosed, a qualified speech-language pathologist will be able to complete a comprehensive assessment.
Results of the evaluation will identify an individual's specific speech and language deficits. In some cases the individual being tested will also be able to explain the specific difficulties they are experiencing.
Collectively, this information is used to determine an appropriate course of therapy to help improve language deficits and increase word finding abilities.
Intensive therapy (therapeutic practice on a daily basis) will always provide the best improvements over time.
- anomic aphasia
Anomia is the inability to come up with the names of objects, places, and people. To some degree this happens to all of us as we age. However, individuals whom experience some type of brain trauma may encounter this difficulty on a regular basis.
Dysnomia is also a term used to identify individuals with specific naming difficulties. Both, anomia and dysnomia are deficits associated with the inability to correctly label objects.
Anomic Aphasia: This term refers to word finding problems as a type of aphasia.
The typical characteristics of anomic aphasia are:
- Trouble using correct names for people, places, or things
- Speaking hesitantly because of difficulty naming words
- Grammatical skills are unaffected
- Comprehension is normal
- Difficulty finding words may be evident in writing as well as speech
- Reading ability may be impaired
- Having knowledge of what to do with an object, but still unable to name to the object
- Severity levels vary from one person to another
What are the Causes?
Word finding difficulty is caused by neurological disorders.
Stroke (CVA): A cerebral vascular accident, better known as a stroke, is the most common cause in adults. Problems with word retrieval are usually associated with an acquired language disorder known as aphasia.
A great resource for
information on aphasia and word finding difficulty is; The Stroke Connection Magazine.
This free subscription provides tips for daily living as well as inspiring stories from stroke survivors and caregivers.
Head Trauma: Traumatic brain injury can cause a range of speech and language disorders. The symptoms that arise from each injury are directly related to the site of lesion (a specific area of the brain where the damage occurred).
The left hemisphere of our brain is responsible for our language skills. Damage to brain tissue in this general area could cause a word finding disorder.
Dementia: Dementia is a progressive disorder that affects the brain's ability to function normally. It impairs memory as well as overall cognitive ability.
The most common known cause of dementia is Alzheimer's disease.
Word finding difficulty can sometimes be an early sign of Alzheimer's.
Tumors: A brain tumor can also cause problems with word retrieval. This largely depends on the where the tumor is developing. If it invades the left hemisphere, word finding can become a problem.
As with dementia, word finding problems can be an early sign of tumor development.
Aging: Of course, this is a natural cause. As the brain ages, chemical changes occur and memory abilities can begin to fade.
A healthy lifestyle as well as keeping an active mind is your best defense against an aging brain.
How can you Improve Anomic Aphasia?
By learning effective Word Finding Strategies
First, let's define the word, strategy:
A strategy is a plan of action used to achieve a specific goal.
And, sometimes that plan of action involves changing the way we do things in order to be successful. This is the case with word finding.
Since your brain is not giving you the words you want, you must discover new ways to find them.
Speech-language pathologists teach many successful strategies that help individuals with these difficulties. All of these strategies have one thing in common:
They use a patient's strengths to help overcome their weaknesses.
Learn how our Word Finding Exercises Video can help improve your loved one’s word finding skills!
What is Circumlocution?
Circumlocution (sir-cum-low-cue-shun) is the act of describing many features of an object, event, or action without saying the exact word for the object, event, or action.
It is a common strategy used by individuals with word finding difficulties. When at a loss for an intended word they will often describe the word to get their message across (and at the same time try to cue the word they're looking for).
For example, if an individual couldn't think of the word, axe, they might say;
"It's the thing that chops wood. You know, lumberjacks use them; it has a long handle and a sharp edge. They chop down trees with it ... what is that thing called?"
Does that example sound familiar?
It should, because we have all used it. That is why it's typically the first strategy used by individuals with word finding difficulties. There was no need to learn this strategy - they used it long before they were diagnosed with a word finding disorder.
Circumlocution can be useful in that it may help us think of the missing word. It also helps keep the flow of conversation going.
Anytime we stop a conversation to think of a word, the silent space can interfere with the focus and direction of your dialogue.
However, extensive circumlocution can make an individual's dialogue difficult to follow and hard to understand.
How can you practice successful exercises
and strategies on a daily basis?
Therapy is most beneficial when it is:
- Well organized
- Continuously motivating
- Professionally demonstrated
- Highly Effective
That is why we've put together a collection of successful exercises and the most effective strategies used to treat word finding difficulties.
Click here for a list of successful word finding strategies you can practice at home until your Word Finding Video arrives!
Word Finding Exercises on DVD and VHS
For a limited time you can own any of our professionally recognized video titles on VHS for the low price of $9.95.
Stop watching your loved one struggle to find simple words as they try to communicate with those around them.
Give them the opportunity to practice proven word finding exercises anytime and almost anywhere with just the touch of a few buttons.
They deserve the chance to improve their communication skills and reduce the frustration that word finding difficulty causes.
Improve Word Finding Difficulty with Word Finding Exercises on Video!
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