The Connection Between Word Retrieval Difficulties and Reading Disorders
If you have ever had the experience of having difficulty thinking of the name of something: that "Wait it's on the tip of my tongue" feeling, you have some insight into what it feels like to have a "word finding" difficulty. We also may know senior citizens who have this issue, but it is not confined to seniors or adults: this disorder is seen in children as well.
Children with word finding deficits may exhibit obvious difficulty with retrieving a word quickly, saying things like "whatchamacallit", "oh you know that thing that begins with a "b" and the like. They use non-specific words such as "thingy" or "what'sit". They may substitute a word that sounds similar such as "tomato" for "tornado." Very often, what is most notable, is circumlocution and rambling as they try to complete their thoughts. Also parents may notice long pauses and uses of fillers such as "um, er". Of course, it's a matter of quantity, as all kids do this sort of thing.
Word finding pertains to expressive language, not receptive language. Unless another condition exists, a child will typically understand spoken and written material.
However, as a child progresses through school, word finding problems may impede other aspects of language arts (and, consequently other academic areas), because activities that incorporate word finding are part of a typical language arts curriculum.
An example of this is oral reading. Reading aloud, particularly "guided oral reading," is a good mechanism for encouraging reading fluency, and one that is used in schools. With children with word retrieval problems, however, this can have an adverse effect, as the child may experience undue and deleterious pressure.
For this, and many reasons, if a child appears to have word finding difficulties, it is important the he or she receive language therapy as soon as it is identified, as intervention is typically quite successful, and the interference of word retrieval problems on other aspects of language and academic areas can be mitigated or eliminated.