CHALLENGES TO ACCURATE PRODUCTION OF THE /R/ SOUNDIf you are reading this document, you are likely well aware of the many challenges that children may face in learning accurate production of the /r/ sound. The /r/ sound is one of the most challenging sounds for children to produce correctly. As with any new skill acquisition, children make the most progress when they have consistent support from everyone in their home and school learning environments. Below you will find strategies and ideas for further supporting your child’s speech development, specifically with regards to production of the /r/ sound. Although your child may also be working on correctly producing other sounds, this document references only to production of the /r/ sound. If you would like information with regards to other sounds that your child may need support with, please just let me know. I hope that you find this information useful. I appreciate any support that you are able to provide in assisting your child achieving best speech performance accuracy.
Thank you! Lynn Wisniewski, Speech/Language Therapist§ SMILE and LIFT the tongue when producing the /r/ sound. No round lips and the tongue should be elevated, not down. (The lips are round and the tongue is not elevated during production of the /w/ sound and vowel sounds which are often substituted for the /r/ sound.) Encourage your child to be aware of the shape of their mouth and the position of the tongue as they produce all sounds.
§ Many children find it helpful to add an “invisible or nearly invisible” /uh/ sound following the /r/ at the end of words. This gives them an opportunity to “finish” the /r/ sound and slide into and out of the /r/ sound more easily and accurately. § The /r/ sound must be “finished” before moving on to the sound(s) that follow it. This is especially true when the /r/ sound falls in the middle of the word.