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.
Which First: Consonantal or Vocalic R?
By Pam Marshalla
Q: I have read “Successful R Therapy” and am wondering, do you work on Consonantal R or Vocalic R first, and why?
I tend to work on Vocalic R with a retroflex R first because I like to teach the contrast between Ah (Jaw low, mouth open, tongue low) with R (jaw high, mouth almost closed, tongue curled up and back).
I also find that starting with a big Ah and teaching the client to prolong it helps him hear the subtle sound changes that occur as the tongue curls up and back for the Retroflex R.
I find this the easiest way to teach R, so I usually start here, especially if the client has been in therapy for a while with someone else and has been failing.
2 thoughts on “Which First: Consonantal or Vocalic R?”
Would you recommend trying a retracted vocalic r if teaching the retroflexed hasn’t been successful?
I have a kiddo who is substituting w/r and has trouble with consonant blends with r and l. He is stimulable for the r sound so should I just start with r and l blends or make sure he is successful with /r/ in isolation?