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.
Q: I attended a workshop of yours and recall the recommendation to have the student brush the sides of the tongue to elicit the R sound. I can’t find the method in your handout. Where is it?
It is SOOOOOOOO critically important to understand the PURPOSE of a method!
One does not brush the sides of the tongue to elicit R and I would NEVER recommend that. Instead one brushes the sides of the tongue to AWAKEN the tactile system there. That is ALL it does. That is all it CAN do.
Thus, one could brush the lateral margins of the tongue in order to help a client realize that they are there (if the client needs to become aware of his tongue or its position). Then, with that knowledge in place, one then could then teach the client to move the tongue into correct position for R––and for that I use the Butterfly Position.
Therefore, I do NOT recommend brushing the lateral margins of the tongue to elicit R. I recommend brushing the sides of the tongue to STIMULATE THE TACTILE RECEPTORS there. Study the Butterfly Position. That is the key to R production.