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 (2,455 Responses)
  1. Thurman Burkhalter

    How can I use blogging to increase traffic on my website?

    https://www.instagram.com/katekdesigns

    June 21, 2021 at 06:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Anthonytet

    https://sport.sevastopol.su/barsa-za-5-let-potratila-na-transfery-pochti-milliard-evro-vot-na-kogo-ushli-dengi/ – балдежный новостной веб-сайт

    June 21, 2021 at 07:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Ramona Shalla

    I was diagnosed with celiac over a year ago and have started inventing my own gluten-free recipes. I've gotten so many requests from people that I want to start a blog to start posting them. What free blog websites are out there and which ones are the easiest to access/most likely to pop up on a search engine?.

    https://www.facebook.com/KateKowalskyWebMarketing

    June 21, 2021 at 08:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. part time jobs near me

    http://ww17.ubiomeblog.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bjsnearme.com

    June 21, 2021 at 08:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Camper Repair Near Me

    http://nudeandfresh.com/cgi-bin/atx/out.cgi?id=22&tag=galtoplist&trade=https://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 09:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Best RV Repair Near Me

    I could not resist commenting. Perfectly written!

    https://clubs.london.edu/click?uid=24ce7c96-76b4-11e6-8631-0050569d64d5&r=http://ocrv.tv/

    June 21, 2021 at 13:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. casino royale

    Coi Thông Tin Thể Thao Bóng Đá 24h Trong Năm 2019gold fish casino slotLiverpool là nhóm bóng nhận ít thẻ nhất ở Premier League mùa này và đang đứng trước cơ hội đạt giải thưởng Fair Play ở mùa giải thứ 5 liên tục. Sau khi thăng hạng 96 trái đất, nhóm tuyển nước Việt Nam đã lọt group hạt giống số 2 vòng loại World Cup 2022 khu vực vực châu Á.

    https://www.vnd188.bet/

    June 21, 2021 at 14:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. truc tiep bong da nha cai

    Xoilac Tv Thẳng đá Bóng fun88Đội tuyển futsal nước ta đã có được một trận đấu đồng ý được trước phe đối lập đầy mức độ mạnh Lebanon. Kết quả Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu vs Bình Phước hôm nay 18h00 ngày 5/5, Hạng nhất Việt Nam.

    https://naija5.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. earthquake near me

    http://safespot.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=earme.a2hosted.com

    June 21, 2021 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Luxury Van

    http://www.herna.net/cgi/redir.cgi?fleetservicerepairshop.com/

    June 21, 2021 at 19:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Maryalice Chaparro

    https://kingsumo.com/g/mmhwmp/free-subscription-to-my-onlyfans-plus-free-galaxy-s9-phone

    https://kingsumo.com/g/mmhwmp/free-subscription-to-my-onlyfans-plus-free-galaxy-s9-phone

    June 21, 2021 at 20:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. kq c1

    Thẳng Soccer Việt Nam Vs Lebanon. Xem Truc Tiep Bong Da. Futsal Việt Namvtv2 onlineNếu cứ đùa như cách vừa tiêu diệt Everton tới 3-1 trên Sảnh quý khách hàng

    https://virandoamor.com/detail/truc-tiep-bong-da-k-mu-vs-everton-127543.html

    June 21, 2021 at 23:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Royce Endres

    https://kingsumo.com/g/mmhwmp/free-subscription-to-my-onlyfans-plus-free-galaxy-s9-phone

    https://kingsumo.com/g/mmhwmp/free-subscription-to-my-onlyfans-plus-free-galaxy-s9-phone

    June 21, 2021 at 23:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Sprinter Valve Body Repair

    Hi there! This post could not be written any better! Looking through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I am going to forward this post to him. Fairly certain he's going to have a great read. Many thanks for sharing!

    https://www.blogpeople.net/cgi-bin/click.cgi?u=http://fleetservicesorangecounty.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 00:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. www.pharmaceptica.com

    erectile function after urethralplasty https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 05:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Sprinter Repair Costa Mesa

    Good post. I learn something new and challenging on sites I stumbleupon every day. It will always be interesting to read articles from other authors and use a little something from their websites.

    http://ibuyfurniture.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=rvcollisionrepairpaintshop.com

    June 22, 2021 at 05:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. pharmaceptica

    drug chloroquine https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 06:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Cargo Van Repair Shop

    I truly love your website.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you make this web site yourself? Please reply back as Iím looking to create my own personal blog and want to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Thank you!

    http://adamssam.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=sprinterrepairnearme.com

    June 22, 2021 at 07:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Chevy Express Van Repair

    Pretty! This was a really wonderful article. Many thanks for providing this information.

    http://allergyandasthmaimpact.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=commercialvanrepairshop.com

    June 22, 2021 at 08:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. pharmaceptica.com

    sildenafil medicine in india https://pharmaceptica.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. pharmaceptica.com

    erectile dysfunction in men https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 09:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Camper Repair Places Near Me

    http://dusthillhousemusicinc.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=theocrv.com

    June 22, 2021 at 11:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. trực tiếp tennis

    Trực Tiếp đá Bóng Việt Nam Vs Lebanon. Coi Truc Tiep Bong Da. Futsal Việt Namxem vtv5Đây có lẽ rằng là ngôi trường hợp “của đi thay người" khá như ý đối cùng với Ben McLemore. Thiếu chút nữa tay ném của Los Angeles Lakers đã có thể gặp gỡ hiểm họa nguy hiểm. Cập nhật kết trái trận nước ta vs Lebanon nằm trong play-off vòng chủng loại Futsal World Cup 2021.

    https://virandoamor.com/detail/vtv3-hd-fpt-play-97801.html

    June 22, 2021 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Rv Upgrades Shop

    http://shannonberrey.com/Redirect.aspx?destination=http://www.commercialvanrepairshop.com

    June 22, 2021 at 15:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. keo nha cai

    Thông Tin, Sự Khiếu Nại Liên Quan Lại Đến Thẳng Bóng Đá Nữ Giới xem vtv3 trực tuyến nhanh nhấtĐội tuyển futsal Việt Nam đã được một trận đấu chấp nhận được trước đối thủ đầy sức mạnh Lebanon. Kết trái Bà Rịa-Vũng Tàu vs Bình Phước ngày hôm nay 18h00 ngày 5/5, Hạng nhất nước ta.

    https://arubaeducation.info/detail/xem-lai-c1-37232.html

    June 22, 2021 at 17:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. RV Camper Repair Near Me

    Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this article together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

    http://wedding.kleider.jp/cgi/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=41&url=https://ocrv.life

    June 22, 2021 at 17:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. gem nhat nhi ba

    Thể Thao138.com casinoLiverpool là ĐộI bóng nhận ít thẻ nhất ở Premier League mùa này và đang đứng trước thời cơ giành giải thưởng Fair Play ở mùa giải thứ 5 liên tục. Sau khi thăng hạng 96 thế giới, ĐộI tuyển chọn Việt Nam đã lọt nhóm hạt giống như số 2 vòng loại World Cup 2022 quần thể vực châu Á.

    https://www.vnd188.bet/

    June 22, 2021 at 18:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. official podcast

    https://vdigger.com/downloader/downloader.php?utm_nooverride=1&site=backbonehunters.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. lich copa america 2019

    Thẳng Bóng Đá Hôm Nay, Link Xem Bóng Đá Trực Tuyến 24hvietnam vs curacaoTheo thể thức thi đấu, đội thắng ở cặp đấu này sẽ giành tấm vé đến Lithuania trong ngày hội bóng đá lớn nhất thế giới đến futsal. Tuyển futsal Việt Nam bước vào trận play-off lượt đi tranh vé dự play-off World Cup 2021 với sự tự tin. Tuy vậy, HLV Phạm Minh Giang bày tỏ, toàn đội không ngán Lebanon tuy vậy sẽ tìm cách để khắc chế sức mạnh của đối thủ bởi trên băng ghế huấn luyện là nhà cầm quân Ramiro Lopez, người từng dẫn dắt futsal Tây Ban Nha.|Dựa vào lịch tranh tài, quý khách có thể sắp xếp công việc

    https://rucyprus.net/detail/7mvn2-97494.html

    June 22, 2021 at 20:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. htv7 trực tiếp

    Thẳng Soccer Thời Điểm Hôm Nayxem vtv3 trực tuyến nhanh nhất không giậtĐây có lẽ là ngôi trường hợp “của đi thay nhân viên" khá may mắn đối với Ben McLemore. Thiếu chút nữa tay ném của Los Angeles Lakers đã có được thể gặp gỡ hiểm họa nghiêm trọng. Cập nhật kết quả trận nước Việt Nam vs Lebanon thuộc play-off vòng loại Futsal World Cup 2021.

    https://murraystivoli.com/detail/cakhia-link-94050.html

    June 22, 2021 at 20:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Google Marketing Consultant

    When I initially left a comment I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the exact same comment. Is there a way you can remove me from that service? Thank you!

    http://beautyofla.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.consciousgrowthmarketing.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 21:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Trailer Repair Near Me

    http://cdlabel.nl/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com/

    June 22, 2021 at 22:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. xem bong da truc tuyen

    Thẳng Soccer Ngày Hôm Nay, Link Coi Soccer Trực Tuyến 24h gacha life vietnamĐội tuyển Việt Nam chỉ cần thiết một kết trái hòa có bàn thắng để lần loại hai góp mặt tại World Cup futsal. Nhưng, nhằm thực hiện được như vậy

    https://sshuebner.org/

    June 22, 2021 at 23:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. k pc trực tuyến

    Coi Thẳng Viettel Vs Bình Dương Tại V League 2021 Ở Kênh Nào? talktv.vn/tabiencuongĐội tuyển chọn nước ta chỉ cần thiết một kết trái hòa có bàn thắng để lần thứ hai góp mặt trên World Cup futsal. Nhưng, nhằm làm được điều này

    https://sshuebner.org/

    June 22, 2021 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. cbs fantasy football podcast

    Aw, this was an extremely good post. Finding the time and actual effort to create a great articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.

    http://valleyfsbo.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=backbonehunters.com

    June 22, 2021 at 23:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. morbid a true crime podcast

    Great site you've got here.. Itís difficult to find quality writing like yours these days. I really appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    http://www.villacapriani.com/Redirect.aspx?destination=https://backbonehunters.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 00:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. da ga casino

    Thể Thaocasino games onlineLiverpool là đội bóng nhận ít thẻ nhất ở Premier League mùa này và đang đứng trước cơ hội giành giải thưởng Fair Play ở mùa giải loại 5 tiếp tục. Sau khi thăng hạng 96 toàn cầu, ĐộI tuyển chọn Việt Nam đã lọt group phân tử giống như số 2 vòng loại World Cup 2022 khu vực vực châu Á.

    https://www.vnd188.bet/

    June 23, 2021 at 01:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Content Marketing Consultants

    bookmarked!!, I love your blog!

    http://www.milmil.cc/sys/milmil.cgi?id=plan1010&mode=damy&moveurl=http://consciousgrowthmarketing.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 01:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Fletcher Cardon

    I am trying to find a good blogging site where I can actually get viewers or readers to view my blog. I have tried blogspot and live journal with no real success. Does anyone know of any good sites where I can actually blog and get readers?. . Another thing is any tips to get readers to your blogs? Should you follow a theme or how do you need to advertise or if you keep posting will they come to you?. . Please no spam. Thanks.

    https://www.facebook.com/KateKowalskyWebMarketing

    June 23, 2021 at 02:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Samuel Tasto

    What would you like to see out of a creative writing short story?

    https://www.linkedin.com/in/kmkowalsky/

    June 23, 2021 at 02:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Nereida Mensinger

    How does Computer Ram make a computer faster and deliver better performance?

    https://www.facebook.com/KateKowalskyWebMarketing

    June 23, 2021 at 02:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Repair Near Me Now

    http://www.permitmanager.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    June 23, 2021 at 02:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. commentbwnvo497

    Где находится озеро Таймыр. из рек начинаются из горных озер, таких как озеро Левинсон-Лессинг. https://www.optimait.com/wiki/community/profile/ozeroneula610/ Koppananjarvi) — озеро на западе Ленинградской области, на территории Кингисеппского района. С севера на юг озеро простирается на 7 километров, средняя ширина — 1,4 км. Глубина достигает 24 метров. С Копорской губой Финского залива озеро соединяется небольшой Рыбалка на Копанском озереравить | править код]. https://computer-technology-history.com/community/profile/ozerodib321/ Все сидят грустные, наверное в большом пруду рыбы уже нет. Короткая рыбалка принесла немного чешуйчатых. Три года уже чёрные камни в Гофицком. http://www.midnightdba.com/DBARant/community/profile/ozerofup983 Сразу по приезду на озеро Болотников со своей сумкой отплыл на надувной лодке подальше от берега и с промежутком метров в сто утопил мины. А рыбалка им удалась, потому что иначе и быть не могло: Потапов знал на. https://sunneez.com/talkingdrum/community/profile/ozeromaw77/ Кулундинское озеро — самое крупное из озёр Алтайского края, расположено в западной части Кулундинской равнины, в 64 км восточнее города. https://gradinsight.co.uk/community/profile/ozerochody418/ Продам участок на Динасе. В коллективном саду № Дом вблизи пруда, сосновый лес, прекрасный вид на водоём. Участок в деревне Шилово Место отличное подходит для рыбалки, охоты, сбора ягод и грибов. http://jefftech.org/community/profile/ozeroonelm57/ Бардолино — небольшой итальянский город на берегу озера Гарда недалеко от Вероны. Самое южное и самое большое из итальянских. https://dailoanhub.com/diendanhub/profile/ozeromut813/ Название озера Лаго-Маджоре в Италии, которое также называют Вербано, переводится просто – «большое озеро». Что не удивительно, ведь. https://ndt-welding.com/community/profile/ozeronurdy372/ Озеро Женское находится в Полоцком районе Витебской обл., в 6 км на север от г. Полоцк, примерно в 1,7 км на северо-запад от д. https://unlucky-gaming.co/community/profile/ozerofuh777/ Одним из центров компактного проживания ингушской диаспоры Прогулки по горам Турции на озере Бейшехир #турция #бейшехир #горы. #?рыбалка #рыбалканаморе #любимоехобби #детки #красивоефото #?путешествие. http://www.cubabel.be/community/profile/ozeroseave833/ Озеро в районе села Красное. Здесь же находится рыбное хозяйство, которое организовало для рыболовов платные услуги. В пруду водится много. https://tramthuy.com/review/profile/ozeromoina653/ в приграничной зоне непосредственно под перевалом Донгуз-Орун, замерзшее озеро и по заснеженному южному каньону Чегета». https://futuretechoutlet.com/community/profile/ozerohog64/ Балахановское озеро находится в Приозерском районе Ленинградской области. Рыбалка В Отрадном озере водятся: Щука, Судак, Окунь, Ёрш, Сиг. http://alliance-kv.ru/community/profile/ozerojerly560/ Сакмарское водохранилище привлекает любителей рыбалки. Сакмарское водохранилище – Реки-Озёра. https://powerofwordsproject.org/community/profile/ozerobup378/ Ловля Форели, Нахлыст, Мясо, Животные, Еда, Рыбалка, Борьба, Рыбы Posts about yellow perch written by Josenhans Fly Fishing Ловля на спиннинг рыбалка на озере ловля окуня на самодельные приманки отчет рыбалка Farnham Angling Society Species – European Eel. https://addons.wpforo.com/community/profile/ozerohem842/

    June 23, 2021 at 04:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. corona resort & casino phu quoc tuyển dụng

    Xem Tin Tức Thể Thao Bóng Đá 24h Trong Năm 2019danh bai baccaratLiverpool là nhóm bóng nhận ít thẻ nhất ở Premier League mùa này và đang đứng trước thời cơ giành giải thưởng Fair Play ở mùa giải loại 5 liên tục. Sau khi thăng hạng 96 trái đất, nhóm tuyển chọn nước ta đã lọt group phân tử giống số 2 vòng loại World Cup 2022 quần thể vực châu Á.

    https://www.vnd188.bet/

    June 23, 2021 at 04:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. www.pharmaceptica.com

    what is hydroxychlor 200 mg https://www.pharmaceptica.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 05:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Fridge Repair Near Me

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this article! It's the little changes that make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    http://chloeventer.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 06:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Digital Marketing Near Me

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Many thanks, However I am having issues with your RSS. I donít know why I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anybody else having the same RSS issues? Anyone who knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!

    http://jadserve.postrelease.com/trk.gif?ntv_at=4&ntv_a=1ZUCA8qkMAtCAPA&prx_ro=s&ord=-1003798469&ntv_ht=Le-uWAA&prx_r=https://www.consciousgrowthmarketing.com

    June 23, 2021 at 06:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. https://topphimhot.net

    Best view i have ever seen !

    https://images.google.com.bz/url?q=https://topphimhot.net

    June 23, 2021 at 07:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Local Marketing Consultants

    Aw, this was an incredibly nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to create a top notch articleÖ but what can I sayÖ I put things off a whole lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.

    http://nevyansk.org.ru/go?https://consciousgrowthmarketing.com

    June 23, 2021 at 08:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. naplangla

    Xoilac Tv Trực Tiếp đá Bóng game bàiĐội tuyển nước Việt Nam chỉ cần thiết một kết quả hòa có bàn thắng để lần loại hai góp mặt trên World Cup futsal. Nhưng, để thực hiện được điều đó

    https://naija5.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 08:14 | 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 Thurman Burkhalter


 

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.