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  • Writer's pictureEngage PT, OT, SLP Therapy and Wellness

When You Can’t Find the Word

“It’s on the tip of my tongue…”

Word-finding difficulties are just one aspect of living with aphasia, a language disorder. Persons with aphasia know conceptually what they want to say, but may have difficulty putting it into words. This can lead to a “tip of the tongue” scenario. Speech becomes slow and effortful, with pauses and hesitations. The person with aphasia might “talk around” the word they are trying to say. Sometimes, it ends in frustration and giving up on the intended message.

Speech therapy can help structure language activities to improve word-finding. There are also many apps with naming exercises: Constant Therapy, TalkPath Therapy, and Tactus Therapy are just a few. If a person with aphasia can read written words, try helping her by labeling common objects around the house. When a person with aphasia is having trouble finding the word, he can also try these strategies.


Example… “apple”

  • Describe it: What does it look like? What does it do? Where would you find it?

​It’s red or green and round

We eat it

It grows on a tree

You can buy it at the grocery store

Tell the first letter or sound

It starts with A It starts with “app…”

Write it or type it

Write or type apple

Draw it

Show it

Make the action of picking an apple and eating an apple

If you have been experiencing word finding our speech therapists have experience working with individuals and have more strategies that may help. Please contact our office at 315-810-2423 or with any questions about how we may be able to help you!

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