“So where is the Super Bowl being held this year?” I asked Charlie, my football-crazed second grade word finder. “Um, yeah, um, minnpul, no, um..” He could tell me about the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles, and even knew the quarterbacks’ names. But the host city? It was tricky. We came up with the cues “mini/apples.”
This is just one more example of how individualized word finding difficulties may be. This young man had no trouble with the names of the teams. Perhaps this is because the media have been saturated with that information this week. Using Dr. Diane German’s mnemonic approach (modified a bit), Charlie now has no trouble retrieving the word “Minneapolis.”
Step 1: Make each syllable very explicit: count them out, tap them, clap them, or hop to each syllable. Whatever is age-appropriate and fun.
Step 2: Associate simple, easy-to-retrieve words with the evasive syllables. Think the cues; say the real word.
Step 3: Say the word ALOUD 5 times. Aloud doesn’t mean LOUD.
Step 4: Make up a meaningful sentence using the word.
Step 5: Give your SLP a high-five.
I call this a “word finding 5.” Have fun watching the Super Bowl. And remember where it will be played!