I’d like to take a moment to commiserate with those parents struggling to teach their children how to speak clearly, and pronounce sounds correctly. This is Sam, my seven year old Star Wars fighter pilot in his Halloween costume last year. He has been struggling with his /r/ sounds for sometime now. Once in awhile I would check to see if he was stimulable, meaning I would check to see if he could say the /r/ sound correctly in imitation of me. After several trials I would give up and cross my fingers that he would correct the problem on his own, while I continued to help correct the articulation errors of my clients.
I observed that the speech of my clients was continually improving while Sam made no improvement with his /r/ sounds. It reaffirmed to me that doing something makes a difference, so I resolved to finally sit down and begin to work with him.
So we are currently working together on how to make the /r/ sound in isolation (all by itself). The progress is slow, but once in awhile I can get him to say it correctly and we both celebrate! I hope to update this post soon with a super-positive follow up. Here’s to patience and keeping the fingers crossed!