strengthening-lipsSteve spoke perfect English except for /r/. Steve’s first language was German, but he grew up speaking English, as well, but could never seem to get /r/. He stated that his brother also could not produce an /r/. ( this was an important clue) As an assistant professor he was becoming more frustrate d when his students could not understand his /r/ production.  “Rock” was produced as “lock,”  “roll” was loll,”  and “read” was  ” lead,” confusing in the best circumstances. After an initial evaluation which evaluated among other things the oral structures and his ability to produce /r/ in a variety of context, it was clear that Steve’s upper lip did not round in the way required for the /r/ sound.  After a few lip strengthening exercises and direct instruction on tongue placement, Steve for the first time in his life produced an /r/ sound. Let’s Rock ad Roll! 3 sessions later Steve was making a great /r/. It would take more time to make this sound a permanent part of his speech, but with regular and consistent practice, Steve would have his /r/.

Published by Kai Long

Kai currently lives in MA and is interested in collaborating with others to develop a deeper understanding of our speech and language needs.