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  • Lori Melnitsky

Your child should be pronouncing R correctly

Your child should be pronouncing R correctly…

by Lori Melnitsky, MA CCC-SLP, Prompt Certified Speech Pathologist

Is your child or you having trouble with the /r/ sound and wondering if you need speech therapy?

This can make it hard to speak correctly. An example of this is rhotacism. A speech therapist can work with you or your child to help improve pronunciation and articulation of the /r/ sound. Many children are bullied for mispronouncing this sound.

A speech pathologist will provide tips, techniques, and strategies to help make learning and practicing the /r/ sound easier. They may use visual aids such as pictures and flashcards to help teach the correct way to form this sound. They can also use auditory and tactile techniques to help develop the muscles necessary for producing it correctly.

In addition, a speech pathologist may suggest activities such as reading aloud or playing games that involve correcting the /r/ sound in order to help practice the sound and make it easier to say correctly. With practice and guidance from a professional, you or your child can greatly improve the pronunciation of the /r/ sound and be understood.

Correctly pronouncing the letter R can help to ensure that you are understood correctly. For instance, saying "read" instead of "red" can change the meaning of a sentence entirely. Additionally, mispronouncing the letter R in certain words may be seen as a sign of disrespect or ignorance. Many sound immature with mispronunciations.

It is important to take time to learn the correct pronunciation of words with the letter R in them so that you can be sure that your message is communicated clearly.

What is the right time to fix the R sound?

There are many sounds in English, but the most common is the sound "r". A child learns this sound as one of their last sounds. Mastery of the /r/ sound typically occurs between 6-7 years of age. /s/ is also a difficult sound to master. An individual who has difficulty pronouncing the /s/ sound is known as a lisp. This also can create issues. It is not always addressed in school or not enough times per week.

The articulation of /r/ speech therapy may be appropriate as early as age five if a parent or child considers the sound to be an issue. Jaw sliding is noted often and can be rectified. It is important to speak with a speech-language pathologist, who can determine if the problem requires intervention or not.


Therefore, if you or your child seem to be struggling with the /r/ sound, it is important to consult a speech-language pathologist for an evaluation and individualized treatment plan. The earlier the articulation intervention begins, the better chance there is of success in mastering this challenging sound. With time and effort, even individuals who have difficulty with the /r/ sound can learn to pronounce it correctly. With the right help and guidance, mastery of this difficult sound is possible. Articulation is as important as academics.

Prompt therapy helps even over zoom. Kids can be taught to prompt themselves.

For more information contact Lori Melnitsky

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