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.
Use the Client’s R
By Pam Marshalla
Q: I attended your R course recently. It was wonderful! But I am stuck with one client. He has achieved a Tip R, but not a Back R. How much longer should I spend trying to help him get a Back R?
If the Tip R works to get the sound quality you want, then that’s what you do, and you forget about the Back R. It does not matter which one he gets.
Focus on what he can do. Make most of the session about what he is doing correctly. Review the slides from the class about working slowly and carefully on whatever he can do correctly. Build the program carefully from what he is doing right. DON’T jump to a whole bunch of different R words. Stick to what he has, and move in to words, phrases, sentences, and paragraphs with the R’s he is doing correctly.
0 thoughts on “Use the Client’s R”
The problem I face with the tip r is that the kids can’t transition to the following vowels – it just seems like such an awkward and inefficient tongue placement to be able to successfully transition to and from… and it sounds unnatural.
I also found that some transitions are difficult with the tip r. I’ve been using, what I call, the “fuzzy g”. Most kids can say /g/. I ask them to make it “fuzzy” which is holding it up where the /g/ is made, prolonging it, and extending the vocalization. It’s kind of like a “gargling sound” but not as far back in the throat. Most kids want to drop the tongue as soon as they have to prolong the vocalization. Soon they learn to hold the tongue up and make it “fuzz”. After they are able to do this, I have them lift the tongue tip up which puts the tongue in a better position to make /r/. Now it’s like a “fuzzy /r/” I’ve even extended this production into words where they tend to drop the tongue with certain other sounds. As this is not a very efficient way of making /r/, they eventually drop the “fuzzy” part but can lift the back of their tongue. Just one more weapon in the /r/ arsenal.