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 went to your class on R therapy, but I still do not understand how to help a client who can say R in some words but not others. For example, my client can say “board” but not “bird.” Help!
This is what I do with kids who have Rs in some words and not others––
I see if I can manipulate a word they can say in such a way that the “er” is teased away from the rest of the word.
Your client can say “board” but not “bird.” That means that the O in the first word is helping him get to the R. I would try to manipulate “board” to get to the “er.” For example, this is how I might go from “Board” to “Bird”––
- Add a schwa after the word so he says “Boarduh.”
- Now split the word into two distinct syllables so he says “Boar—duh.”
- Now make the pause between the first and second syllable longer so that “Boar” is a separate and distinct unit.
- Then take “Boar” and over-emphasize the O. Exaggerate the vowel by making it longer–– Booooooar.
- Then split this into two syllables–– Booooo—-Er.
- Now you have “Er” separated and can use it to attach to other things.
- To put it into “bird,” use the schwa liberally and split this word into three parts–– “Buh” + “Er” + “Duh.”
- Teach the client to blend these separate parts together back into a single word by prolonging the vowels.
- Finally, take out any extra sounds that inevitably will occur as he tries to blend the sequence of sounds.
This is articulation therapy at its finest!