1. Any suggestions on how parents can help with R articulation? My 11 year old is still struggling specifically with carryover. She has speech therapy 3x week – one 1 hour session with a private SLP and two 20 minutes group sessions at school. When practicing, her Rs sound terrific, but in general conversation she slips back into lazy Rs. I’ve tried positive reinforcement – a star for self corrected Rs and 5 stars equals a treat – but this has not been successful.

  2. Just thought of another question – in your experience, do allergies or enlarged tonsils/adenoids contribute to articulation issues? While my daughter can model an R correctly, she says she cannot discern the difference between the correct one and incorrect one. Her hearing has been professionally and extensively tested and found to be within normal limits. Our ENT did mention that she has abnormally large adenoids, but it was not a concern because she is not frequently ill. However, a coworker’s son recently had his tonsils removed due to speech issues. This seems odd to me and our SLP has not heard of this.

  3. Mommawomma,

    Here’s a link to an article on R at Home [http://www.sayitright.org/article-R_at_Home.html] that should give you some suggestions. While I always recommend getting an evaluation conducted by a competent speech-language patholist (SLP) there’s no reason an informed parent should not be able to advance their child at home.

    Your child’s SLP should be providing some homework and suggestions for transfering the positive results in the therapy into the real world.

    Ultimately, especially at age 11, your daughter will have to take responsibility for her own speech. If she can articulate the sounds correctly, then she can do it. She’ll just have to break the habit of lazy speech. One trick is to have her put the rubber band on her wrist. For every misproduction, she should make a gentle snap just to remind herself to be more aware. Slowing down her speech should help as well.

    I don’t have any experience with enlarged tonsils/adeniods or allergies affecting articulation. Perhaps someone reading this might? Please share.

    If she can’t discern the difference correct/incorrect /r/’s, perhaps she’s not getting enough specific treatment on targeted sounds. In my progam, we seprate out all 21 vocalic /r/’s (plus the 11 /r/ blends). It’s important to target only a single sound at a time. The intensive treatment on only a single sound is what I find promotes the most progress. More information can be found here. [http://www.sayitright.org/R_Phonetic_Consistency.html]

    Hope this helps.


  4. My student only produces /r/ initial so with the vowels I am going to target ar like you suggest. But like asked above how do you get to an “ire” and an “air” if the child cannot produce “er”?

    • Jess,

      With the vowel + [er] production you’re looking to find the combination that will enable a correct or approximately correct production of /r/. Once that is attained, you build out from there. Vocalic /r/’s in the initial word position (Ireland, earring) tend to be easier for children since they contain a visual cue to the production. You need to know what type of tongue position the child has success with as well, so you can reinforce it. You can employ coarticulation and whisper techniques (adding and subtracting sounds) to attain the correct production. You might try nonsense word combinations. You might try different consonant+vowel+/r/ combinations as well. As different combinations may provide different results. You have to play with it a little and experiment. Here’s a video showing some of the techniques. Listen to the productions as the beginning and at the vey end of the segment where he clearly says “airplane.” That might give you some ideas.

      Hope that helps.


  5. A parent wants me to work on r in isolation. What do you consider r in isolation and what do you suggest? Thank you!

    • Jess,

      I would administer The Entire World of R Advanced Screening to see which /r/ variation the student can and cannot produce and base your goals and objectives accordingly. I may or may not begin with /r/ in isolation depending on how the student does on the screening. Some examples of R in isolation would be rah , air and ear. There are many others on the screening. Good luck! Christine

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