How to Teach the R Sound!

R sound
I have had a few readers recently write inquiring how to teach the R sound. Ugh! This sound is among the toughest sounds to teach. It is unlike other sounds, meaning it is produced differently leading or following different vowels and consonants. The truth is when you talk about teaching the R sound you are actually talking about eight different variations of R that appear in initial (beginning), medial (middle) and final word positions comprising 21 different types of R. Evaluating, eliciting and training all these different variations of R can be a daunting task even for a Speech-Language Pathologist. Don’t be discouraged however, I have recently learned about a program called, The Entire World of R by Say it Right that breaks down R at every level. The Entire World of R teaches you how to assess which R errors are occurring, how to train the correct production of the R in error and gives you materials to help you move that difficult R from the sound in isolation all the way into conversation. I was thrilled to learn about this program and have just ordered a copy of The Entire World of R Book of Elicitation Techniques¬†for myself. I will be doing a follow up post once I have had a chance to read the book myself and apply it to some of my clients. It is my hope that it will make teaching an R easier for me as well!

Say it Right has posted an article from Advanced Magazine that has the basics on evaluating and treating vocalic r and the 21 types of /r/ that is very well written and most informative. I learned so much!

Say it Right also has a blog that is dedicated to R problems exclusively. It may be helpful to visit that site and read some of the questions and answers that have been posted, or ask “Mrs. R” a question yourself.

UPDATE!
I am so pleased to have Christine Ristuccia, the author and creator of The Entire World of R, share her introduction on teaching the R sound in a more recent post on this blog. You can read it here.

7 Responses to “How to Teach the R Sound!”

  1. Saille says:

    Thanks so much! I’ll be watching for your follow-up.

  2. Dri says:

    The Speedy Speech Therapy program is another great tool to help with the remediation of the /r/ sound. It’s an easy to follow program and only takes 5 minutes of daily practice. I had great success with the SLP version of this program, and it looks like they just came out with a Home version. More info is available at: http://www.speedyspeechtherapy.com/ Good Luck!

  3. SHILPA says:

    MY BABY IS 2.5 YEAR OLD,HE IS HAVING PROBLEM WITH ‘R’ SOUND.HE SPEEKS ALL THE ALPHABETS EXCEPT ‘R’.WILL HE CORRECT IT HIMSELF OR DO I NEED TO TAKE ANY THEREPY.

    • Heidi says:

      It is still quite normal for a 2 1/2 year old to struggle with the /r/ sound. It is likely that he will correct it on his own. If he is still struggling with this sound at the age of 5 or 6 you may want to seek the advice of a speech language pathologist. In the mean time, you can model good /r/ sounds for him to try to imitate. Best of luck!

  4. SHILPA says:

    CAN ‘R ‘ SOUND PROBLEMS BE RACTIFY ITSELF IF SO THEN HOW MUCH TIME WILL IT TAKE

  5. Hi Heidi!
    I am so thrilled to have found your site and am very grateful for your ideas and information in regard to the /r/ sound/. I am feeling blessed to be at “r” when just three years ago my daughter was diagnosed with Apraxia. Not quite knowing where to start, I did what I do best: sing! I am certified music therapist and started using both instinct and theory as I started writing transition songs so my daughter and I could sing during various activities of the day (mealtime, bathtime, playtime etc) The result is Sing Out and Ta-Da two children CDs designed to promote vocal play and repeated practice of the bilabials (Sing Out) and some of the avelors (Ta-Da). I would love to share this with your readers if you feel it will be beneficial. Please feel free to visit the website and hear the samples at http://www.singoutonline.com.
    Thank you for all you do for parents and our little ones!!
    Katie Eshleman

    • Heidi says:

      Thank you Katie! Love the idea of using music to help out in therapy. I posted a link to your site on my links page. Good luck with /r/, I know that can be a tough one, keep it up!

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