Rs are Frustrating! Laura Deer, MS, CCC-SLP It seems like a lot of SLPs dread working with the “R-kids” because progress can be slow. After a long stretch of time with no /r/ clients, two clients entered my practice. The first client came in with a complete absence of this sound. After ... First Person on the Last Page
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First Person on the Last Page  |   September 01, 2011
Rs are Frustrating!
Author Notes
  • Laura Deer, MS, CCC-SLP, works at the Children’s Speech Care Center in Torrance, Calif. Contact her at misslauraslp@gmail.com.
    Laura Deer, MS, CCC-SLP, works at the Children’s Speech Care Center in Torrance, Calif. Contact her at misslauraslp@gmail.com.×
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Normal Language Processing / Speech, Voice & Prosody / First Person on the Last Page
First Person on the Last Page   |   September 01, 2011
Rs are Frustrating!
The ASHA Leader, September 2011, Vol. 16, 39. doi:10.1044/leader.FPLP.16112011.39
The ASHA Leader, September 2011, Vol. 16, 39. doi:10.1044/leader.FPLP.16112011.39
Laura Deer, MS, CCC-SLP
It seems like a lot of SLPs dread working with the “R-kids” because progress can be slow. After a long stretch of time with no /r/ clients, two clients entered my practice.
The first client came in with a complete absence of this sound. After calming his speech-treatment anxiety, we spent two grueling sessions drilling /r/ in isolation. I expected to continue this pattern, but to my surprise he came in the next session with correct /r/ placement. He even paused and made noticeable efforts to try to say each /r/ word in conversation. To my amazement, we went from no /r/ to graduation in four months!
My next /r/ client was a typical case. He had been working on his /r/ for a long time, playing games with the drill practice. His /r/ was closer than my other client’s had been, but still distorted. From his empty eyes and downturned mouth, I could tell he was burned out. I started with the game-playing drill but I changed things quickly. I thought of my other client’s motivation and amazing progress.
I realized our primary goal needed to be motivation. I eased into this topic gradually. At the climactic moment, we were screaming phrases like, “Rs are frustrating!” Using a basketball analogy, I told him he would never make a “basket” if he never really tried. During treatment I would ask him if he was just throwing the ball or going for a slam-dunk. His demeanor changed as he gained confidence and began to see progress.
I think it is important to remember to treat our clients first and their communication goals second. Building a strong rapport and counseling through strong emotions can make all the difference!
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September 2011
Volume 16, Issue 11