WORD RETRIEVAL… Where is that word anyway?!

Word Retrieval

Finding all of the books on the floor is what a child who has word retrieval deficits experiences. They have difficulty finding a word that they know and understand and have used before. They must become detectives and mentally sort through numerous disorganized books or categories to find the correct word. This can be time consuming, frustrating, and embarrassing!

“We store vocabulary in our heads like we store books in a library… so when we want to find the word we want to use and quickly find it… you can go into the library and find all of the books on the floor.”

As SLPs, children often cross our paths who are experiencing word retrieval deficits. This is because it is not uncommon for a child with a language disorder to have word retrieval difficulties. Word retrieval difficulties make it difficult for children to participate in social interactions and academic tasks such as telling narratives. The good news, however, is that we can teach them strategies to find the words they want at the appropriate time!

Watch how an SLP and school helped Aroob, a child recovering from a stroke, with her word retrieval difficulties and empowered her as a communicator.

Here are some resources to help you target word retrieval difficulties during speech therapy!


Word retrieval activities

6 activities to improve word retrieval

More word retrieval strategies!

Word Finding Diagram

WORKSHEETS for Word Retrieval:

Memory materials

Complete word pair game

Fun at the circus

BOOKS for Word Retrieval:

I’ll Teach My Dog 100 Words

Learn 100 new words in a novel way… teaching a dog!

Hop on Pop

This classic Dr. Seuss book is full of poetry and rhyme.

My Truck is Stuck!

Will the engines be able to get the truck unstuck?

How many engines does it take to get the struck unstuck?


Octopus Opposites

Learn opposites with this friendly octopus.

goodnight goodnight construction site

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site

Target semantic classes with this book including vehicles, tools, and occupations.


There’s a Wocket in My Pocket

In this silly Bright and Early Book classic by Dr. Seuss, a young boy goes exploring in his house and finds an array of fun characters!

APPS for Word Retrieval:


Llama Llama Red Pajama $4.99

Llama llama red pajama is waiting, waiting for his mama. Motivate young children with this rhyming book!


Word Retrieval $9.99

This app was also created by an SLP and based on research on remediation of word retrieval.


iName it $14.99

iName it was created by an SLP and is specifically designed to help individuals with difficulty recalling the names of common items found in the home.

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