This advice-column-style blog for SLPs was authored by Pam Marshalla from 2006 to 2015, the archives of which can be explored here. Use the extensive keywords list found in the right-hand column (on mobile: at the bottom of the page) to browse specific topics, or use the search feature to locate specific words or phrases throughout the entire blog.
By Pam Marshalla
Q: I have read your R book and have taken 2 classes from you, but I am still struggling with student with persistent R distortions. She has the most success producing vocalic R (car, ear, air, tire) but not “Er” all by itself.
This is a very common problem that many SLPs have. How does one obtain an isolated “Er” when the child has it in a vocalic position attached to other vowels? I usually help the client like this–
- Take a word she can say with a correct vocalic R–– like CAR.
- Then have her prolong the vowel–– Caaaaaaaaar.
- Then have her prolong the vowel and the R–– Caaaaaaarrrrrrrr.
- Then have her say it again, and as she holds the R, tell her to turn her voice off and then back on. She will say–– Caaaaaaarrrrrrrr––rrrrr.
- Then have her do this many times to obtain a sequence of Ers–– Caaaaaarrrrr-rrr-rrr-rrr-rrr-rrr.
The client simply needs to learn to repeat what she can already do. Tell her, “Keep your tongue in the R place, don’t move it… Say it again… and again… and again. This will isolate it into Er.