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 am having some trouble with a few /r/ students. I read parts of Successful R Therapy. One student has a pretty good initial /r/ and /ar/ words, but cannot do any other vowel+/r/. For example, /er/ comes out /ar/. The student does not appear to hear the difference in himself, but can hear it when I produce it differently. Is there any guidance you would be able to give me?
If your client can do ANY R correctly attached to any other sound (either V+er or r+V) then you can teach him to separate the “R-part” from the Vowel.
- Thus if he can say “ar” then he could prolong it and say, “ahhhhhhhher.”
- Then he could separate the two parts with silence and say, “Ahhhhhhhh..(silence)..er.”
- That way he is learning to move his tongue into position for R in silence. I.e., the on-glide is silent.
- And then you have “er” isolated. This should be rehearsed enough to make it automatic.
- With a silent on-glide and “R” isolated, then you can begin to practice V+er and r+V by isolating each part.
- This is where you make sure the client is saying the vowels very clearly. Do not let him distort the vowels. Force him to say clean and crisp R’s and clean and crisp V’s. Use this time to train his ear to discriminate his own vowels. He must be able to catch himself producing incorrect vowels in order to carry this skill over to his R work.
I talk about this in Successful R Therapy in Chapter 10, “Building the Transition Repertoire.”