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HELP® for Word Finding
Ages: 6-Adult   Grades: 1-Adult

Use six approaches to improve word finding: associations, themes, definitions, questions, parts of speech, and context.  Hundreds of stimuli help clients recall a variety of words. 


  • Increase the speed of word retrieval
  • Communicate with more ease and expression
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*The CD contains the complete book.  All pages are printable.
** This is a Cloud E-Book that is accessible from any device with Internet access. .

Written in the widely-acclaimed format of the HELP series, these lessons have:

  • high quality, timeless content
  • goal-driven activities
  • appeal for a broad age range
  • a gradual increase in complexity within and between activities
  • application to a wide range of developmental and acquired language disorders

Stimulate word retrieval and rapid recall with lessons organized by these areas: 

Automatic Associations
Recall words through familiar associations like rhymes, songs, and story titles; common foods, people, nouns, and verbs; name brands; abbreviations, geographical words; and similes, idioms, and proverbs.

Descriptive phrases help clients recall 24 words for each theme.  The themes are everyday subjects like clothing, school, furniture, forest, and transportation. 

Retrieve a variety of words based on their brief definitions.  Clients identify objects, actions, and situations; identify items by their word class; and supply opposites and synonyms. 

Answering Questions
Answer wh- questions with word banks, without word banks, and in fill-in-the-blank formats. 

Parts of Speech
Supply nouns, verbs, adjectives, and prepositions using word banks and fill-in-the-blank formats. 

Using Context
Practice word finding with common conversational statements, themes, inferences in sentences, common sayings, and survival words. 


Copyright © 1995

179 pages, IEP goals, answer key

The HELP books are all superior products that go the extra mile to help children with special needs.  Thank you!

Mary Fratianni, Special Needs Coordinator
Port Jefferson Station, NY

  • Communication, both verbal and nonverbal, is a fundamental human need.  Meeting this need by facilitating and enhancing communication in any form can be vital to a client's well-being (NSA, 2005).
  • Word-finding problems can positively impact learning and socialization at all ages (German, 2009).
  • Words are stored both by phonological features and semantic schemas.  Words that are higher in frequency may be easier for a client to retrieve than those that are lower in frequency (German & Newman, 2004).
  • Intervention for word finding should include retrieval strategies, word-finding accommodations, and patient self-awareness (German, 2009).
  • Advances in the study of the brain and neuroplasticity guide future ideas for aphasia rehabilitation.  In order for brain restructuring to occur, some important items to consider include the need for multiple trials for learning and salience of items trained to allow for carryover of targeted materials (Holland, 2008).  The items targeted in this book are highly salient to allow for transfer of targeted therapy tasks to everyday life.

HELP for Word Finding incorporates these principles and is also based on expert professional practice that is functionally based.


German, D.J. (2009). Child word finding: Student voices enlighten us. ASHA Leader, 14(2), 10-13.

German, D.J., & Newman, R.S. (2004). The impact of lexical factors on children's word finding errors. Journal of Speech-Language, and Hearing Research, 47, 624-636.

Holland, A.L. (2008). Recent advances and future directions in aphasia therapy. Brain Impairment, 9(2), 179-190.

National Stroke Association (NSA). (2005). Clinical guidelines for stroke rehabilitation and recovery. Retrieved September 10, 2009, from


Andrea M. Lazzari, Patricia M. Peters


Andrea M. Lazzari, Ed.D., is a speech-language pathologist for Henrico County Public Schools in Richmond, Virginia.  She has previously worked in a community clinic and in private practice.  She has also taught preschool students with disabilities and was the supervisor of Early Childhood Special Education Programs for the state of Virginia.  She also served as a teacher trainer at the college and university levels.  She is the author or co-author of numerous publications with LinguiSystems, including No-Glamour Question Structure Wh- Questions, No-Glamour Question Structure Interrogative Reversals, Vocabulary To Go, and the HELP series.

Patricia M. Peters, M.Ed., M.P.S., CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist in private practice in Roanoke, Virginia, and is an adjudicator of speech and language disability claims for the Department of Rehabilitative Services for the Commonwealth of Virginia.  She has worked in a community speech and hearing clinic; a private, outpatient rehabilitation clinic; and in a Level 1 acute and trauma center and rehabilitation hospital.  In these settings she has gained experience working with all ages and communication disorders, with specific interest in traumatic brain injury, post stroke, laryngectomy, and voice, as well as articulation and language disorders of varied etiology.  Patti is a fellow of the Speech-Language-Hearing Association of Virginia and the recipient of the DiCarlo Award for Excellence in Clinical Achievement for the Commonwealth of Virginia.  She is the co-author of HELP 1, HELP 2, HELP 3, HELP 4, HELP 5, HELP Elementary, and HELP for Auditory Processing.


HELP for Word Finding represents the second volume in the HELP for . . . product series.  Although specific word-finding skills are addressed in HELP 2, HELP for Word Finding was written in response to requests from educators and clinicians for more varied material within this area of language processing.  HELP for Word Finding focuses exclusively on word-finding tasks designed to enhance not only the speed of word recall, but also the quality and variety of the words retrieved.  HELP for Word Finding also enables a natural expansion of vocabulary within functional, everyday contexts.

The development of word-finding skills is essential to our ability to give meaning to our world, to develop functional semantics and syntax, and to effectively communicate with one another.  This volume emphasizes six major areas involving word-retrieval skills—automatic associations, themes, definitions, answering questions, parts of speech, and using context.

Using stimulus items progressing in difficulty whenever possible within each task, HELP for Word Finding targets the six-year-old to adult population.  Given the flexibility of the tasks and the stimulus items within those tasks, HELP for Word Finding can be used with individuals with language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and language deficits due to stroke, ranging from school age to adolescence to adult.

IEP goals are provided at the bottom of each page to clarify the task direction and to aid the busy professional in generating appropriate goals.  Word-finding activities to augment individual therapy sessions and to provide suggestions for integrated therapy in classrooms or small group settings are also included.

The following guidelines are offered for effective use of the tasks in HELP for Word Finding:

  1. Most of the tasks in this volume can be used as auditory tasks, written tasks, or both.  Blanks are provided for written responses.  Use your own judgment to determine if a task should be presented orally or in writing.  Depending on the age and the ability of the client, oral presentation may be followed up with written worksheets for review at home.
  2. Every effort has been made to order each task from the easiest to the most difficult items; however, experiences vary as well as the overall skills of clients, so use your own judgment in choosing which portions of each section are appropriate for an individual client.
  3. Many repetitions as well as varying amounts of cueing may be necessary to facilitate recall and internalization of the concepts.  Keep track of accuracy rates to assess client performance and to determine when a change in difficulty or task is indicated.
  4. Common, correct responses have been provided and are located in the Answer Key at the end of the book.  As experiences vary, responses other than those listed may be appropriate.  Again, use your discretion in logging client accuracy.
  5. Focus on achieving carryover of concepts to everyday situations and conversations by questioning, repeating, and emphasizing specific concepts within contexts outside the therapy environment.  These exercises may be successfully used by parents, other family members, and paraprofessionals with some guidance from the clinician.  For carryover to be effective, communication between home and school or clinic is essential.  Functional outcomes from the use of the HELP approach can only be realized if skills are generalized to a variety of communication environments.

In this volume, we have attempted to incorporate a variety of tasks that are interesting, informative, and at the same time challenging.  Efforts have also been made to use as many practical, functional daily life skills and experiences as possible while approaching standard therapy targets.  Current therapy trends emphasizing instruction within context are reflected in the Using Context section.

As with our previous HELP products, we and LinguiSystems have attempted to respond to your growing needs as educators and clinicians, and to incorporate as many of your suggestions as possible.  We hope you find HELP for Word Finding a valuable addition to the professional resources that address the communication needs of your clients.

Andrea and Patti