home
RSS
June 24th, 2010
11:03 AM ET

Why am I mixing up my words? Is this a learning disability?

As a feature of CNNhealth.com, our team of expert doctors will answer readers' questions. Here's a question for Dr. Gupta.

From Matthew, Mount Laurel, New Jersey

"I'm 45. Don't smoke, drink. Married since '93. Have 11-year-old sons, both diagnosed with Asperger's but mainstream and doing fine. Over the past year or so, I've caught myself saying a similar word to the one I'm thinking. Talking about pouring a "box" instead of bowl of cereal. Calling the boys down for "breakfast" instead of dinner. Reminding them to eat their "hot dog'"when they're clearly holding a hamburger. My family notes when this happens and it's worrying me. My wife (a special ed teacher) believes it's a learning disability and it's just becoming more pronounced as I age. I did go to speech lessons in elementary school. Does this sound like anything to look into?"

Answer

Language issues like the ones you describe, Matthew, can be relatively innocuous or they may be subtle, early clues about more serious problems occurring in the brain, such as a tumor or infection. You cannot be sure until you are checked out by a doctor, but what you are describing can occur in a brain disorder called aphasia or dysphasia.

It occurs when there is damage to regions of the brain that control language. According to the National Aphasia Association, about 1 million people in the U.S. deal with some form of aphasia. More specifically, your symptoms sound like something neurologists call semantic paraphasia. That is, substituting the word you intend for one that has a similar meaning.

"The word you're substituting is still within the context of the word you mean to say," said Dr. Olajide Williams, a neurologist at Columbia University Medical Center. "Instead of saying 'clock' you say 'watch' or instead of saying 'dinner' you say 'lunch.' Instead of saying 'spoon' you say 'fork,' and on down the line."

Semantic paraphasia is usually due to sudden brain trauma, such as a stroke or a blow to the head. Your symptoms sound different - like they have developed gradually. According to Williams, that would rule out a stroke, which typically occurs suddenly.  And he says that speech problems related to semantic paraphasia usually happen alongside other communication problems involving writing, reading, repetition and comprehension.

In your case, that may or may not rule out semantic paraphasia. What is left are a host of other possibilities. Neurodegenerative disorders, brain tumors, and brain infections affecting language areas of the brain could also be to blame.

Now before you become too concerned, you should follow your instinct and look into this further. Seek the advice of a neurologist, who will most likely give you a comprehensive language exam. The exam involves an evaluation of your speech - from basics to more complex tasks. You may also be tested for reading, writing and grammar to try to pick up brain abnormalities.

An important part of this complex equation is that you have had your symptoms for a relatively short period of time, so if there is a problem, you have a better chance of addressing it.

Good luck Matthew.


soundoff (2,454 Responses)
  1. https://j-website.net

    Best view i have ever seen !

    https://images.google.co.uz/url?q=https://j-website.net

    June 4, 2021 at 13:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. rv doctor near me

    https://web.nfuonline.com/ClickModels/Log?emailid=7605&destinationUrl=http://ocrvcenter.net/rv-repair-shop-yucaipa-california

    June 4, 2021 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. alterations near me

    http://portalplayer.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bulknearme.com

    June 4, 2021 at 15:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Freightline Sprinter Repair

    Having read this I believed it was very informative. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this article together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worth it!

    http://www.ozsportswear.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=boxtruckrepairshop.com

    June 4, 2021 at 15:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Mercedes Sprinter Cowl Panel Rust Repair

    Hi, I do believe this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to come back once again since i have saved as a favorite it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide other people.

    http://www.advancedwatersystems.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=sprintervanrepair.com

    June 4, 2021 at 16:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Johnygmh

    Blw Williams knowledgeable founder upvc profile blog posts and articles

    not long ago produced blog posts through Blw Williams

    something blokes wish to in WounfortunateIt female and male the group is constantly on the construe an additional one. Men tend when you consider tat they really want finances to reduce young ladies; women reckon that they must appear like serious variants to are the apple inc of one vision. you know, this informative article shows just what the standard woman craves in women.

    What to express with regard to First eveningYou both were being attracted to each other and today you've always wondered what charmdate.com you tell you first. many questions that can are able to evaluate exactly what person individual must be; you'll discover resources that you should probably abstain from about the first court.

    How to any soul matesMeeting you can prove to be trial a. In order to do this, you require to analyze they are first in addition,yet check just what they want wearing a partner.

    6 tips to get Your ex BackMany people young and old get refused actually got rid of. it apart to driving coming from love affairs. Initially, above all tend to be ruined; notably if you really ran into emotions for the caller, but yet extremely hard, for you understand get used to this approach.

    publicized within just break ups separation on June 20, 2011

    how to overcome MenApproaching some guy can be challenging for any mum to be. because of young age, a lot of women probably are told to surmise the actual greater submissive factor not to mention permitted men reach them; any product anything else can presumed eager or effectively downward. clearly, you are welcome to the 21st century.

    June 4, 2021 at 17:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. truck shop oc

    Great blog you have here.. Itís difficult to find excellent writing like yours these days. I seriously appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    http://www.rooneycpa.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.org/

    June 4, 2021 at 18:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. hydroxychloroquine chloroquine

    hydroxyquine medication chloroquine for lupus hydroxychloroquine use

    June 4, 2021 at 20:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. cialis 20 mg

    tadalafil drug cialis tadalafil from india reviews

    June 4, 2021 at 21:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. cost tadalafil generic

    erectafil 20 side effects cheapest tadalafil cost tadalafil tablets 20 mg

    June 4, 2021 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. prescription tadalafil online

    tadalafil peptide tadalafil tablets sildenafil versus tadalafil

    June 4, 2021 at 21:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. generic tadalafil from uk

    tadalafil brands taldenafil tadalafil side effects

    June 4, 2021 at 21:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. tadalafil daily online

    tadalafil peptides where to buy cialis without prescription tadalafil

    June 4, 2021 at 21:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. dominique martin ansm

    chloroquine cvs hydroxyquine aralen for lupus

    June 5, 2021 at 00:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. หวย

    Good day! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and tell
    you I really enjoy reading your blog posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics?

    Thank you so much!

    June 5, 2021 at 01:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. EncoxAni

    are canadian pharmacies legitimate my rx pharmacy derm rx pharmacy

    June 5, 2021 at 01:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. 2006 Sprinter Transmion Repair

    http://www.lejusteprix.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.sprintervanrepair.com

    June 5, 2021 at 04:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. travel trailer slide out repair

    http://digital.fijitimes.com/api/gateway.aspx?f=https://ocrv.pro/rv-repair-shop-laguna-hills-california

    June 5, 2021 at 04:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. book store near me

    https://www.proinvestor.com/r.php?u=http://www.nearmyspot.com

    June 5, 2021 at 04:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. MileSwa

    cialis on line australia cialis overnight shipping canada cialis overnight delivery

    June 5, 2021 at 05:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. awnings orange county

    I was excited to discover this website. I wanted to thank you for your time just for this wonderful read!! I definitely savored every bit of it and i also have you book marked to check out new stuff on your site.

    http://localbusiness.goupstate.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.today/

    June 5, 2021 at 05:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. hydroxychloroquine tablets

    chloroquine vs chloroquine phosphate hydroxychloroquine where to buy chloroquine natural sources

    June 5, 2021 at 06:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Sprinter Heater Contol Repair

    http://www.lnfcu.com/helpers/choice.asp?h=http://customcampervans.com

    June 5, 2021 at 06:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Accident Attorney Houston TX

    Nice topics, very interesting , good job and thanks for sharing such a good blog. Flooring Installers of Pittsburgh, 1933 Crafton Blvd #5, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, (412) 415-7629

    https://www.google.com/maps?cid=15320961285137417484

    June 5, 2021 at 07:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Pressure Washing Sacramento

    Commenting on a blog is an art. Good comments create relations. You’re doing great work. Keep it up. Flooring Installers of Pittsburgh, 1933 Crafton Blvd #5, Pittsburgh, PA 15205, (412) 415-7629

    https://www.google.com/maps?cid=17978662104161179375

    June 5, 2021 at 07:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. buy chloroquine phosphate uk

    hydroxichlorine chloroquine phosphate hydroxochloroquin

    June 5, 2021 at 08:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. buy chloroquine phosphate tablets

    side effects hydroxychloroquine what is clonidine hydrocyhloroquine

    June 5, 2021 at 09:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. tadalafil online

    tadalista 20 where to order tadalafil tablets tadalafil)

    June 5, 2021 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. generic cialis

    tadalafil research powder cialis pills tadalafil peptides

    June 5, 2021 at 20:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Nearest Mercedes Service Center

    After looking at a number of the blog articles on your blog, I seriously appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I book-marked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my website too and let me know what you think.

    http://www.grandluxerail.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=sprintervanrepairnearme.com/

    June 5, 2021 at 22:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. rv slide out remodel

    You need to be a part of a contest for one of the most useful blogs online. I most certainly will highly recommend this site!

    https://ad.sxp.smartclip.net/optout?url=https://ocrvcenter.info/rv-repair-shop-inglewood-california

    June 5, 2021 at 23:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. buy hydroxychloroquine online

    chloroquinolone malaria doctors for hydroxychloroquine is chloroquine phosphate over the counter

    June 5, 2021 at 23:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. tadalafil mechanism

    tadalafil tablets research chemicals tadalafil tadalafil cost

    June 6, 2021 at 02:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. great clips near me

    http://www.jessicahertz.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=nearmyspot.com

    June 6, 2021 at 02:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. mike

    No matter if some one searches for his essential thing, therefore he/she wishes to be available that in detail, so that thing is maintained
    over here.

    My blog; mike

    June 6, 2021 at 08:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Kristina

    It's not my first time to go to see this website, i am browsing this web page
    dailly and get pleasant data from here all the time.

    Stop by my web site – anna (Kristina)

    June 6, 2021 at 08:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Mercedes Sprinter Service

    Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this short article together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

    http://www.selfstorageassociation.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=customcampervans.com

    June 6, 2021 at 08:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. aralen buy

    quinine vs hydroxychloroquine buy chloroquine online canada what is hydroxychlor used for

    June 6, 2021 at 13:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. chloroquine for malaria

    hydroxychloroquine sulfate 200 mefloquine plaquenil sulfate 200 mg

    June 6, 2021 at 13:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. hydroxychloroquine nz

    chloroquine hydroxychloroquine coupon who chloroquine

    June 6, 2021 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. arechin

    plaquenil hydroxychloroquine sulfate buy chloroquine phosphate tablets hydroxychloroquine side effects eye

    June 6, 2021 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Georgianne Pisicchio

    The price of the house is about 14,000 yuan.

    https://www.spearheadcreditsolutions.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Rижplica-China-Pink-Breitling-D13022-Fake-Is-An.html

    June 6, 2021 at 22:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. hydroxychloroquine sulfate tabs

    chloroquinolone malaria hydroxychloroquine buy chloroquine without prescription

    June 6, 2021 at 23:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. side effects of tadalafil

    tadalafil 75mg prescription tadalafil online tadalafil 20mg tablets

    June 6, 2021 at 23:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. rv collision repair

    There is definately a great deal to know about this subject. I like all of the points you have made.

    https://doterra.myvoffice.com/Application/index.cfm?&EnrollerID=1&Theme=Default&ReturnUrl=ocrvmotorcoaches.com/rv-repair-shop-studio-city-california

    June 7, 2021 at 06:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Rolando Escobar

    Hi, I think your site might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, fantastic blog!

    http://forums.powwows.com/members/926813.html

    June 7, 2021 at 07:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Jaeden Porter

    Great wordpress blog here.. It's hard to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate people like you! take care

    https://www.threadless.com/@dobrinasveti/activity

    June 7, 2021 at 07:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Authorized Sprinter Repair Facility

    http://www.le-juste-prix.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=sprintervanrepair.com

    June 7, 2021 at 07:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Jamir Zimmerman

    I got good info from your blog

    https://www.inkitt.com/procesni

    June 7, 2021 at 08:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Kristin Lane

    Thanx for the effort, keep up the good work Great work, I am going to start a small Blog Engine course work using your site I hope you enjoy blogging with the popular BlogEngine.net.Thethoughts you express are really awesome. Hope you will right some more posts.

    https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/135697504-kaycee-k

    June 7, 2021 at 08:30 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49

Leave a Reply to Optometrist


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.