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Your Child Speech Delay: The 'R' Sound

Updated on December 9, 2010

Teaching The 'r' Sound

The 'r' sound is a very dominate sound in speech, yet often mispronounced. Duplicating the sound is hard for young voices because of the position of the tongue and because the sound comes from the back of the throat. Practice is very beneficial in preventing bad habits in articulation and help when speech intervention is needed.

Many children develop a problem with the pronunciation, not because they have a speech impediment, but because they have a bad habit.

The 'r' sound is one that little voice boxes have to grow into. A child is not considered delayed in the 'r' sound until after the age of 7. But... it has been shown that the proper pronunciation can be much earlier than that.

Using audio bombardment and predictable text in teaching the 'r' sound, Richard and Rosco gives plenty of good emphasis and creates conscious awareness of the sound. And conscious awareness can corrects pronunciation problems before they ever become a problem.

Richard and Rosco

BOOK REVIEW: Richard and Rosco

Richard and Rosco is a delightful little story about a rhino named Rosco and a raven named Richard, who are friends.

They love running and resting together in every kind of weather.

For teaching the 'r' sound, the letter 'r' is highlighted throughout the book to make it easier to recognize and read. It is recommended that you emphasize the 'r' sound when reading the book.

When teaching the 'r' to younger children, focus on the 'r' sound at the beginning of the words only. As the age of child gets older, add the ending 'r' sound. Around age 6-7 emphasize the 'r' sound in the middle of words also.

This tactic also helps in developing spelling skills. As your child learns to hear and differentiate sounds throughout words, they learn how to sound words out for reading and spelling purposes.

Repetitive Phrases, Predictiable Text, and Auditory Bombardment

Through repetitive phrases, predictable text and auditory bombardment, Richard and Rosco becomes a fun and interactive way of teaching the 'r' sound.

Rumblel Rumble Rappity Flap

Oh my goodness! What was that?

Richard and Rosco play in the rain, splash in the river, and chase the rainbow all afternoon. And every time they run off you hear them make the sound...

Rumblel Rumble Rappity Flap

A Simple Story About Friendship

Richard and Rosco is a simple story about friendship and while teaching the 'r' sound.

To help avoid bad habits and speech delays, this little story with it's repetitive phrase and auditory bombardment, is a parents speech therapy resource and a speech therapist dream.

Teaching the 'r' Sound Through Activities

The book includes activity pages and a riddle to encourage language development and thinking skills while having fun.

You can buy Richard and Rosco here if you would like.

Richard and Rosco is also included in Chatter Batter: Four stories for speech development.

Chatter Batter is a compilation of four stories written for preschool through the second or third grade, Each story targets one of four commonly delayed sounds of speech: 'l', 'r', 's', and 'th'. At the end of each story is an activity page for added interest.


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    • Only1Talat profile image

      Only1Talat 4 years ago

      My son is speech delayed and started speaking after 2.5 yrs. Now almost at 4.5 years he is not totally caught up but manages to convey some of his thoughts and is still way behind his age appropriate speech level. One thing I had noticed that he is able to pronounce all his consonants except for R. He just blanks out at that that place or replaces it with J. When he blanks it out in like in the middle of a word, it becomes difficult to follow him. I will try out the story approach mentioned. Thanks! Nice and short (to the point) article.

    • VirginiaLynne profile image

      Virginia Kearney 6 years ago from United States

      I'm so glad to read about these books. My son had significant delay in getting some of his sounds and we were given some speech therapy but that stopped when he was in school and his speech did not actually interfere with his reading. So I think this is so helpful--I wish I'd had some ways to help him at that time. I actually found your hub because I'm going to write a review of "Hooway for Wodney Wat" which is a book which is about a rat with an "r" delay--and probably my very favorite children's book. In fact, seeing it on the counter this evening, my son (now 13) actually said, "Hey, that is a very good book! I remember reading that!" I will link your hub to mine so people can get ideas.

    • HealthyHanna profile image

      HealthyHanna 7 years ago from Utah

      Glad to hear it. So many of us just don't take the time to correct bad speech habits until they become very apparent as we grow older. The 'r' sound is one that little voice boxes are not developed enough to even reproduce it until most children are past the time for being interested in articulation sounds. That's why simply reading stories emphasizing these latter sounds, even though the child can't pronounce them correctly at the time, will naturally establish the correct annunciation when they can. ...this is all documented in brain research. . . interesting stuff to me.

    • Missi Darnell profile image

      Missi Darnell 7 years ago from Southern California

      Excellent! My middle child had this pronouncing 'r' and 'w' we used to say she was from Bwonx. We had her evaluated by the speech therapist at school and with a little work at home, as you suggested above, she is now rolling out those r's.