Recapping R

I was surprised by the response to my “Shhh…Don’t Tell” article in the Leader a few months ago, when I had many therapists get in touch with me—which I loved.  The responders fell clearly into two camps.

The first were also fans of /r/ therapy.  (I’m hoping one of them will start a secret society with flashy id badges and a handshake.  Let me know.)

The second, larger group, sent messages that could best be summed up by—“help!”

So, to those of you looking for a place to start, I humbly offer some direction.

Issue:  “I’m new to this.” Or “How do I elicit this sound?”

Activity Tailor response:  These are the techniques/advice or programs I’ve found the most helpful (and I use all of these, sometimes in combination), in no particular order.  But…add to all of these a huge dose of patience.  It might well take you a month’s worth of sessions to find an approach that has potential for your client.

  1.  Say It Right, Entire World of R:  The Advanced Screener is particularly helpful for giving you a starting point, as well as giving you some method of tracking improvement over time, although it’s not standardized.  The Book of Elicitation Techniques has some basic suggestions for positioning.
  2. Pam Marshalla, Successful R Therapy:  Loads of practical info and excellent self-study exercises.  If you are willing to methodically work through this book, you will be a much better clinician for it!  Self-discipline not a strong suit?  You can take her on-demand seminar at Advanced Healthcare Education.
  3. Dawn Moore, Expressions Speech:  Dawn wrote a very easy to understand post for me, walking you through her hierarchy of nonsense syllables.  She is now offering on-demand webinars.  Great for starting a kiddo at the very beginning.
  4. 2 Gals:  These experienced therapists compiled a bunch of elicitation techniques for lots of sounds.  All of these “tricks” should be in your repertoire.
  5. When all else fails:  I’ve had luck starting with “tr” or “dr” blends or “ear” words.

Issue:  “I’m stuck.” Or “I’m having trouble maintaining momentum.”

Activity Tailor response:  This is a real issue for /r/ because the progress tends to be slow.  Many therapists find the task of keeping sessions “fresh” exhausting.  But there are so many different activities you can do!  And there are so many resources out there!  I’ve put together two “lesson plans” that you can print out to see how I might organize a session.  All of the activities are ones I’ve already posted (I provided the post date and link, so you can refer to the specific article if you need a full set of instructions).  The first plan is geared toward the younger elementary aged student.  The second is more appropriate for grade 3 and older.

Lesson Plan for R, (elementary)

Lesson Plan for R, (Gr. 3 and up)

Still have specific questions?  Don’t hesitate to post a comment or get in touch with me directly!

Next week I have TWO app reviews with giveaways!  Be sure to check in!


This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Joan O'Brien

    Thanks for this post….I’m a secret geek who loves love /r/ therapy too… It’s so nice to know I’m not alone!

  2. Kim Lynn

    I loved this post! I transitioned to school therapist from early intervention therapist this year! /R/ was by far my biggest challenge…but one that I loved! I had actually used some of the sources that you listed…the others will be my summer project! Conquering this beast /R/ has become an obsession! Hahaha! I find myself driving down the road saying it in various combinations so that I can better cue my students! I love it!

    1. admin

      Kim, That should definitely be included in techniques! Trying to figure out and incorrect production not only gives you info on how to reshape it, but gives you sympathy for how hard it is to modify what you typically do! Kim

  3. Dean

    Oh My! Thank you, thank you, thank you for listing us here. *Eeeeee* (that’s my squeal of delight!)

    1. admin

      Dean, but the list wouldn’t be complete without you 2Gals! Thanks for being such a great resource. Looking forward to following your “top 10” in your abstentia. Wishing you a very relaxing summer! Kim

  4. debra kerner

    I love it!! I think that i s awesome and I love the data sheet!! Kudos to you Kim!! I love working on /R/ and I almost always start my assessment with the World of R screening which gives me a great starting point. I wish I knew this information years ago but as with all, experience prevails. Have a great day.

    1. admin

      Debra, a million thanks! Good luck with the STS giveaway! Kim

Comments are closed.


The views expressed in this blog are my own and are intended to inspire other speech-language pathologists in their own practice. If you are a parent, teacher or other educator, these ideas are not intended to take the place of treatment by a certified clinician. Read full disclaimer here.