Practical Strategies for students with /r/ Misproductions/Speech Sound Disorders

I am often asked the question of what to do when you have a student who had a phonological disorder and the only sound left is /r/.  Do you dismiss or continue intervention to work on /r/?

As I posted earlier if a student substitutes w/r as in wed for red that is considered to be gliding which is age appropriate until age five.  After that, it is considered to be a disorder or needs to be addressed in intervention.  Most students can work on auditory discrimination and visual cues such as lip retraction vs. lip rounding with the use of a mirror.


Vocalic /r/, on the other hand is usually acquired around age seven.  if the student who has a phonological disorder is only misproducing vocalic /r/, and not gliding initial /r/ words or proevocalic /r/, then I would consider dismissal with a rescreen at age 7 to see if /r/ has acquired without intervention.

As mentioned in a previous blog post,   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).

You can use the Entire World of R Advanced Screening to determine the type of /r/ misproduction that the student has.  If the student has any correct productions, initial /r/ blends, vocalic /r/ or prevocalic or initial /r/ you can target the particular sound in intervention.


  1. I have had and used the Entire World of R program, Instructional Workbook, Book of Stories and love them! I have a unique question concerning a student of mine. She cannot produce the /or/ variation without sounding NASAL. She actually sounds like the /or/ is coming out of her nose, not mouth. Can you provide any input on why this is happening, and/or how I can correct it?

  2. Do you have any suggestions for parents at home that are trying to do this on our own? Unfortunately insurance doesn’t cover speech, so I am left with what the school offers and whatever we can do at home. ‘R’ is definitely a hard one for him.

    • Hi Shannon,

      Thanks for your comment. I recommend the evaluation support package for /r/, which you can purchase on our website here: Once the program is purchased, you tape your child and send the tape to Christine Ristuccia, the /r/ expert. She will listen to the tape and give you a list of correctly produced words to practice at home. She will guide you as to what words to practice and cues you can use while working with your child.

      Good luck!

      Best regards,
      Say It Right team

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