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Eliciting r Sound

        Production of the /r/ sound is widely varied amongst speakers. It is dependent on what precedes or succeeds it in a word production. The tongue tip is usually curled toward the roof of the mouth to make this sound. A common substitution for /r/ is /w/. To help correct this substitution, have the child smile to keep the lips apart while making the /r/ sound.

       ** Of special note about learning to produce accurate /r/. Research has found that the tongue has the most rapid rate of growth between the ages of 5.5 – 7.5 years. While producing /r/, we rely totally on kinesthetic and proprioceptive feedback (i.e. we need to rely on feel vs. sight) because the tongue makes no contact anywhere in the mouth to produce /r/. During this rapid growth time, the feedback received may literally change from week to week. Therefore this makes it a more difficult sound to teach for correction at earlier ages. Be patient.


Initial /r/ words


raft                             rat                               rim                              roast               rope

rag                              red                              rind                             robe                rug

rain                             reed                            rink                             rocks               rust

rake                            reel                             rip                               roll                wreath

ranch                          rice                             road                            roots               write


Final /r/ words


bear                            core                            floor                           more                shore

boar                            deer                            fur                              pair                 square

car                              door                            hair                             pier                 stairs

choir                           ear                              here                            pour                star

chore                          fire                             jar                               scar                 tire


***Here is often an early word that goes unnoticed because it carries no emotional context.

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