Giving Clues Bookmark *Freebie*

Screen Shot 2016-08-02 at 11.28.58 AMA lot of the time we want to help our child to get an answer, but we don’t want to give them the answer. By giving a child phonemic (sound) cues or semantic (meaning) cues, we are giving them a way to find the answer by themselves. Children who have word-finding difficulties have the word in their head, they just don’t know the best way to find it.

Think about how you look up a word in a dictionary. You might think of the first letter of the word and open up to a random page. Next, you must be able to alphabetize, know how to use the guide words at the top of each page, know the letters that come before or after the word you are looking for, scan downwards when you are on the right page and there is the word!

What a long process. Now imagine the process if takes your brain to locate words and their meanings in you ‘inner’ dictionary.

Children who have difficulties finding their words, even when they have them in their head, need some guidance. Just like we have to learn how to use a dictionary, we have to teach the child how to ‘find’ their missing word.

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  • As a mom I love this! My speech therapist does all of the things that you have written, but I can too. Very easy to understand. Thanks!!!

  • It’s great that your speech therapist uses these types of cues. It would be good to show them the bookmark so that they can direct you to cues that work specifically with your child.

  • I wanted to post a link to a wikispace that I recently created with another SLP. It is a sharing space for word retrieval cues inspired by the work of Diane German, known world-wide for her research on word retrieval deficits. She is the creator of the Test of Word Finding and research based Word Retrieval Intervention Program.

    The wikispace is designed for SLP’s who feel like they are reinventing the wheel every time they need to come up with a word retrieval cue. We invite you to get ideas from others as well as share the great word retrieval cues you have created.

    Please check out the site at:

    • Thanks for sharing – I hope other SLPs find it useful and add to it as well!


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Hi, I'm Rebecca.
I encourage SLPs to feel more confident treating speech sound disorders, and make faster progress with their students.


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