How long will /r/ Intervention take?


Say it Right began 2013 with early detection/intervention month.  Research has shown that the speech-language intervention initiated at a younger age necessitates fewer treatment units than if initiated in later years the less  time is required to master speech and language goals.  (Jacoby, et al, 2002).  It is important to begin intervention for /r/ no later than 7. 5 years because the majority of the 32 /r/ sounds have been acquired by age 8 and are not likely to spontaneously correct.  Changing a speech error decreases significantly beyond this age even with target /r/ intervention.

Therefore, intervention for vocalic, prevocalic and initial /r/ blends can actually begin as early as 3-4 years old if student is stimulable for /r/.  The Entire World of R single word screening with stimulus cards containing picture cards can greatly assist the speech-language pathologist in determining if the student is ready for /r/ intervention..

Starting /r/ intervention earlier will allow for less time to develop habits of /r/ misproduction.  In turn, children will be more confident and will not need to be pulled out of valuable instruction time.


  1. Customarily, speech has found to be *set in stone* by certan ages,but latest research has shown that children can continue to improve in speech beyond these set times because of brain plasticity and brain transference.

    • Hi Susan-
      I would agree with that. Can you please post the research and article where you saw the data that you are referring to. Thanks, Christine

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