8 Important Facts To Remember For /r/ Therapy

Here are a few key points to get you started:

  1. Self Love: Don’t forget that being a Speech Therapist is a heavy burden sometimes.  We are hard working and perform a lot of miracles but this can’t be done with out a little bit of self love.  Take care of yourself this year.
  2. Positive Feedback: Remember that when things get difficult to always provide positive feedback, no matter how frustrating a case may be.  Even if it’s taking longer than it should.
  3. Practice Makes Perfect: Send your clients home with worksheets to practice with sounds they can already do.  Sending them home with material they can’t do won’t help them.  It’s important to focus on their kin esthetic awareness in order for them to perform the harder tasks at hand. Parent’s will lose patience with homework that is too difficult for their children to practice.
  4. Motivation: No task is impossible. Not even your most difficult /r/ student! There is always a way. Remember to stay motivated and to also motivate your student’s as well. They are the ones that need it the most. Don’t let them see your frustration.
  5. Setting Goals: It’s important to set realistic goals for your student’s. Remember to let them go at their pace though; if this means that a goal needs to be modified, then modify your expectations.
  6. Team Effort: Therapy is a team effort. Not only is it your job to help them but it’s theirs as well as anyone providing support; such as family members. Let your clients get involved. Let them set their own goals in addition to yours. It’s always rewarding for a client to reach not only the goals everyone else has for them, but their own as well. Give them their own chart!
  7. Diversity: Everyone is uniquely themselves. You wouldn’t treat every client the same, this means that therapy should be individualized as well. If group therapy isn’t working than they need something changed up a bit to meet their own needs.
  8. Be A Detective: Use all strategies to your advantage and be a detective in finding each client’s special needs. This will take a lot of digging on your behalf but it’s one of the most important steps to providing effective therapy.


  1. I had a question and hopefully I”m posting it at the right place. My 10 year old daughter has been working on her r sound for a couple of years now and has made some progress. She can pronounce the r at the beginning of a word such as ‘rain’ or ‘right’ as well as in the middle for words such as berry, cereal. She had a lot of difficulty with the ‘or’ sound but now can do it. However she is still having problems with her ‘er’ sound which comes out more like ‘uhr’ sound. For instance when she says ‘birth’ or ‘person’ it sounds almost as if she has a British accent, it comes out as ‘buhrth’ or ‘puhrson’. She has some difficulty with ‘her’, ‘bird’ etc. We do not have access to an English speaking speech therapist as we live abroad. She is starting to get teased a little at school and of course would like to correct this sound. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    • Dear Lenny-

      My recommendation is to find out exactly which /r/ words she can correctly produce. The Entire
      World of R Advanced screening tool found at http://www.sayitright.org is a great assessment tool as it assesses almost 1,000 /r/ words including
      vocalic or /r/ controlled /r/, initial /r/ blends and medial and final /rl/ words as in world and girl.

      Find the words she can correctly produce and practice those. slowly add in other misproduced /r/ words gradually
      and see how she does.

  2. I have been working for 5 months with an 11-yo with “r” difficulties. although we have made significant improvements, his most notable problem now is in words with /w/ and /r/ such as “war” or “work”. It sounds like he is making the sounds to deep in his throat and with too much tension. Attempted some throat tension release (relaxation in that area) with unsuccessful results. Any help is much appreciated. Thanks

    • Dear Susan-

      Are there any other vocalic, initial /r/ blends or prevocalic /r words that the student is
      stimulable for or can correctly produce with minimum effort? If so, I would focus my intervention
      there until he begins to have auditory and kinesthetic awareness of correct tongue placement.


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