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ideas to help almost-4-year-old pronounce letter R

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
hello,

my son has always been extremely verbal but still has trouble pronouncing the letter "r." i know he's still young, and normally i wouldn't care, but him name has two Rs in it. i fear he's getting shy about saying his name because sometimes people don't understand him. also, his name isn't common, which adds to people's lack of recognition. he can pronounce the "r" when it's "er" (at the end of a word) but not when it's at the beginning of the word, like his name.

i'd love some suggestions on games to play to help or resources him practice.

thanks so much!
post #2 of 22
My 5.5 yo DS has trouble with R also, and he was in speech therapy recently for several other letters and combination sounds (L, SH, CH). The speech therapist said it could take until age 7 for some children to master the R sound.

Since your DS can get the R at the end of words, I'd just have him practice that. He can say Mister Robert over and over, Mister Richard, and any other combination with lots of Rs. With practice, he should start connecting the R at the end of words with how it should sound at the beginning of words.

__________________
Leslie, mommy to DS (almost 6) and DD (almost 4)
post #3 of 22
We've had good luck with tongue twisters and animal noises when practicing hard to say sounds.
post #4 of 22
Time. You can try saying 'rrrrrr' like a bear or something, but at almost 4, it's not something I'd worry about.
post #5 of 22
I thought "R" and "L" were two consonants that a lot of kids don't normally get right until 6 or so?

My ds is almost 7 and has just started saying "R" instead of "W". He still has trouble with "L" sometimes ("L" is also "W") but it's much better.
post #6 of 22
Call your local school district and have him evaluated. My ds has been in speech for over 4 years, he's 8 and he still doesn't have the 'r" sound down. Speech therapy is a wonderful tool and has been great for my son. His teachers have always had us stay with him in class and that way we know exactly what to coach him with at home. 4 is young for the r sounds, it's more 7-8 year old skill.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
thanks for your input! i know that it's one of the later-coming sounds for many kids. i just sense his frustration when saying his name and don't want him to start fearing the "what's your name?" question. we'll start practicing with various words with r's.
post #8 of 22
DD is just four and has trouble with 'r' and 'L' and 'ch' -- I hear it is pretty common at this age, as those are the most difficult sounds to master (those, and a couple more like 'th', for example).

We just play games like roaring like a bear, and do tongue twisters and such. I try not to make her aware of it at all, so she just thinks these are games. When we brush her teeth, to do the sides, she has to shut her jaw, so we sometimes practice rrrrrrrrrrrrr with a closed jaw, as when she says 'r' it kind of sounds like 'awr', with an open jaw, know what I mean?

Her doc told me not to worry about it until she was at *least* 5, as she pronounces almost everything else well.
post #9 of 22
We say "Rrrrrruffles have rrrrridges" alot
post #10 of 22
We pretended we were pirates alot...I even got out all my halloween pirate stuff and we dressed up and ran around the house saying ARRRRRR it worked quite well.
post #11 of 22
Where I live, even if you homeschool, the public school system will provide you with free speach therapy. My son went when he was 4, it was really great.
post #12 of 22
My DD also has trouble with r. We had her evaluated twice when she was younger and both times they said she would grow out of it and it is a common thing for children not to be able to get r. Well, now at almost 8 we have had her evaluated again and now the speech therapist has told us that we need to do daily practice with r words. . .she has us practicing with r beginning, r middle, and r ending words. She also has us practicing sentences with a lot of r sounds. She has told us that after 10 years old, most children can no longer get the r sound. . .I guess from what she said the magic time for it to click with most children is between 7-10 years old. To properly learn to make the R sound, you need to put your back teeth together, pull your lips back (like a really exaggerated smile) and say rrrrrrr. She recommended having DD practice while looking into a mirror. She also said that we now need to correct her when she does it wrong (which she hates and I hate. . .so I try not to do it when others are around so I don't embarrass her). She also recommended that we read to her more often. The speech therapist gave me the materials to work with DD at home since we are homeschooling and not enrolling our DD in the school system at all (where we are we can enroll our child as a nonattending student which is the only way she can get speech therapy. . .however, since she's not vaxed we don't want to enroll her since they will ask for her records and we don't want others to know our family's beliefs in our very small community).
post #13 of 22
When DD turned 4 I worried a bit because her Ss and Fs weren't coming out right and her name is Susie and she was four so I really noticed.

I got several books from the library to try to figure out if she needed ST or if we could just work on it.

A couple of the books had little exercises to try. It's a little over a month and she's doing fine.

I'd check the library!
post #14 of 22
My daughter is 5 and can't do it Rs. It's quite annoying for her when people don't understand what she's saying so I took her to a speech therapist who said she wouldn't help us until DD is 7. She said by then is when they should have mastered the Rs...not yet. Not much help.
post #15 of 22
Not at all helpful....

But, I had a student who couldn't pronounce Rs... poor kid.. his name is Rory Roth. He could say his name by the time he was six. He's 25 now and I bet he still remembers people saying "what?" when he said "WOE-WY WOF"
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
Where I live, even if you homeschool, the public school system will provide you with free speach therapy. My son went when he was 4, it was really great.
A child won't qualify just because they can't pronounce a sound that often isn't mastered until later.
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post
A child won't qualify just because they can't pronounce a sound that often isn't mastered until later.
true. . .they won't qualify unless they have a pretty severe speech disability at that age. . .(well, unless the speech therapist needs to pad their caseload which does happen sometimes. . .but most are so booked that this doesn't happen often)
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post
A child won't qualify just because they can't pronounce a sound that often isn't mastered until later.
of course. i did not get the impression the OP was concerned about a sound difference that was age appropriate. The school will of course evaluate first.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by treemom2 View Post
true. . .they won't qualify unless they have a pretty severe speech disability at that age. . .(well, unless the speech therapist needs to pad their caseload which does happen sometimes. . .but most are so booked that this doesn't happen often)
nope

Not always true. My son didn't have anything severe. Just an issue with the "k" sound, and only at the beginning of words, car sounded like tar, etc. But he could make the sound at the end, words like black and back sounded perfect. She saw him once a week for about 8 weeks, gave me some tips and it has been corrected.

She did tell me not to worry about the "th" sound coming out like a "f" sound. That's normal until 8 years old. if it's not self corrected by then , kids will usually need some speech therapy.
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by treemom2 View Post
true. . .they won't qualify unless they have a pretty severe speech disability at that age. . .(well, unless the speech therapist needs to pad their caseload which does happen sometimes. . .but most are so booked that this doesn't happen often)
Quote:
Originally Posted by artgoddess View Post
nope
Not always true. My son didn't have anything severe. Just an issue with the "k" sound, and only at the beginning of words, car sounded like tar, etc. But he could make the sound at the end, words like black and back sounded perfect. She saw him once a week for about 8 weeks, gave me some tips and it has been corrected.
.
Sorry, after 5 years working as a school guidance counselor often representing the administrator in eligibility meetings for speech and special ed services and being married to a special education teacher who has worked closely with speech paths, and having a MIL and SIL who are both speech paths. . .Unless your child has a pretty severe speech problem they won't get services unless the speech path has openings in their schedules (which is very, very rare).
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