SpeechPathology.com Phone: 800-242-5183


EDU Healthcare Opportunities

Word Finding Difficulties and Reading Disabilities

Kenn Apel Professor And Chair Of Communicative Disorders And Sciences
Wichita State University

June 14, 2004

Share:

Question

What ideas can you offer for improving word-finding difficulties that can sometimes be a part of a person's reading disability?

Answer

This is a tricky question, as a word-finding difficulty has a different meaning to different people. My initial response would be that we are talking about a person who is struggling with reading and is experiencing one of two different symptoms. The first might be that the individual has some examples of not accessing certain words, or is slow or hesitant in accessing certain words, when talking. In cases like this, one has to ask: Why is this happening? For most of us, we exhibit word finding difficulties when the demands of the situation exceed our current capabilities. For some individuals, the demands exceed capacity more often. We need to look at the linguistic and non-linguistic contexts to determine what factor(s) may be leading to these difficulties. Likely, there is something about the linguistic context (need to communicate more abstract thoughts, more advanced syntax, enter into narrative discourse) that causes these difficulties to surface. Once you determine what area(s) of language cause these difficulties to arise, you can tackle those areas, strengthening the skills, and thus leading to less occurrences of word-finding problems. A second issue might be that a person who is struggling with reading has a difficult time decoding, which may be labeled as a word-retrieval problem. In cases such as these, it is important to conduct a miscue analysis (error analysis) of the individual's oral reading and determine how s/he "attacks" new or non-sight words. Does the individual use a phonemic blending across the word, or does the person "guess and go" (e.g., look at the first few letters of a word and guess what it is)? If the latter is the case, then not only will the individual read the majority of words incorrectly, but poor or faulty orthographic representations of the words (pictures in our heads) will be stored/learned. Thus, in the future, it may look like words read before can't be, and thus, a label of word finding be provided. We need to help individuals correctly decode words, leading to more effective and complete storing of mental images of words.

Dr. Kenn Apel is professor and chair of communicative disorders and sciences at Wichita State University. His area of teaching and research interest is reading and spelling.


kenn apel professor and chair

Kenn Apel Professor And Chair Of Communicative Disorders And Sciences
Wichita State University


Related Courses

Cluttering: An Overview of Diagnosis and Treatment Across the Lifespan
Presented by Kathleen Scaler Scott, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-F
Video

Presenter

Kathleen Scaler Scott, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-F
Course: #10048Level: Intermediate1.5 Hours
  'I learned so much from this course'   Read Reviews
This course presents the most current findings regarding cluttering management. Findings related to client awareness, cluttering life impact, and differential diagnosis and treatment are applied to clinical practice across the lifespan.

Lived Experience of Cluttering: How It Applies to Clinical Practice
Presented by Kathleen Scaler Scott, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-F
Video

Presenter

Kathleen Scaler Scott, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-F
Course: #10578Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'I appreciated the advice about how to talk to the person who clutters, and how to educate their significant others'   Read Reviews
New information is emerging about how cluttering may impact those living with it. Evidence about the importance of cluttering awareness and client perspectives for providing effective services, and treatment strategies such as interactive listening, as well as clinical application of these findings, are discussed in this course.

Atypical Disfluency: What Is It and What Can I Do About It?
Presented by Kathleen Scaler Scott, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-F
Video

Presenter

Kathleen Scaler Scott, PhD, CCC-SLP, BCS-F
Course: #10096Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'It was new topic for me which made the content really interesting'   Read Reviews
This course presents the most up-to-date evidence regarding the identification and management of atypical disfluency. It discusses types of atypical dysfluency as well as application of current findings to assessment and treatment, including treatment strategies.

Facilitating First Verbs through Shared Book Reading
Presented by Susan Hendler Lederer, PhD, CCC-SLP
Video

Presenter

Susan Hendler Lederer, PhD, CCC-SLP
Course: #9735Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'I love the book recommendations'   Read Reviews
This course discusses early verb acquisition, choosing first verb targets, and a variety of strategies to facilitate verb learning using children’s picture books as a therapy context.

Language Outcomes of Children with Trauma Histories: Understanding the Impact
Presented by Yvette D. Hyter, PhD, CCC-SLP, ASHA Fellow
Video

Presenter

Yvette D. Hyter, PhD, CCC-SLP, ASHA Fellow
Course: #9737Level: Advanced1.5 Hours
  'Excellent information'   Read Reviews
This is Part 1 of a two-part series. This course is designed to explain the influences that various types of childhood experiences with trauma and maltreatment have on development. The focus is on language and social-pragmatic communication skills of children.

Our site uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.