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stroke retraining language

Stroke Rehabilitation and Retraining Word Finding Skills: Which Exercises Work Best?

Posted by Constant Therapy
Constant Therapy

This week, in keeping with our focus on Aphasia for Aphasia Awareness Month, we explain how and why categorizing and feature analysis tools are so effective for persons with Aphasia!

Aphasia Therapy and Word Finding

How do you relearn words?  Imagine that you look at an object – you know what it is... you’ve used it every day... but the associated language, the associated meaning, is gone.  The object is glass.  It’s round... cylindrical.  You can see through it.  Every morning you drink juice from it.  You think, yes, I’ve got it... and then it’s gone.

We all have these difficulties where the word is just “on the tip of your tongue”, but you can’t quite access it.  This is a struggle that persons with Aphasia experience every day – they have anomia, or significant difficulty with word finding.

You can imagine that this is incredibly frustrating.  Sometimes persons with Aphasia may think of a word, but it’s not quite right. There are two types of naming errors that many persons with Aphasia make, and it depends which of two systems is affected in the individual person’s case.  These naming errors, where an associated word is generated rather than the target word, are called paraphasias.

Sometimes the word that is chosen sounds similar (maybe someone says “stove” for “star”) – these are called phonemic paraphasias.  Sometimes the word that is chosen means something similar, or is semantically related (perhaps someone says “stove” for “oven”) – these are called semantic paraphasias.

So in aphasia therapy, how do we relearn the word “glass”, as we were trying to think of earlier?  One great way is using semantic categorization or semantic feature analysis.  In semantic categorization, you think of the category that an object belongs in.  In semantic feature analysis, you think about whether a “feature” matches an object.  These exercises help to revitalize mental representations of words!  Give these examples below a try!

Stroke Rehabilitation for Word Finding Examples

Category Matching

What category does “bike” belong to?




Semantic Feature Analysis

“Chicken” – is found on trees?  Yes or No

Next time a word is stuck on the tip of your tongue... think of persons with Aphasia who experience this almost constantly!  To get more practice, sign up for a Constant Therapy account today!

Email (support@constanttherapy.com) or call our wonderful customer service team at 1-888-233-1399 if you need help getting started, or have questions about the program.

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Constant Therapy is an award-winning cognitive and speech therapy app, created for survivors of stroke, brain injury, and other neurogenic disorders.

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