#TPTTuesday: /r/ Screener!

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This week we’re switching it up and instead of sharing a product for intervention, we’re sharing our Worldwide Speech /r/ screener for informal evaluations!

This screener is a staple in my evaluation process for students with /r/ distortions. We all know the feeling of receiving another /r/ student on our caseload. Why? Because /r/ is arguably the toughest sound to master in the English language!

A closer look at the /r/ sound:

In order to create a speech sound, we push air out of our lungs, up through our throat, and out our mouth or nose. The vibration of our vocal cords and movement of our articulators (e.g. tongue, teeth, lips, and jaw) change the airflow to produce different sounds. The “R” sound is hard for some children because it requires a unique tongue position that is difficult to teach. It also is tricky because other sounds in the word may influence the way the “R” sounds.

Look in the mirror and try saying these words slowly: Rain, Storm, Thunder

Did you notice how the “R” looks and feels different? In storm and thunder, the “R” sound is different because of the vowels next to it. There are six different vocalic combinations, [ar, air, ear, er, or, ire] which are collectively called vocalic R, r-controlled vowels, or vowel R. If “R” comes before the vowel, it remains a consonant. Altogether, there are at least 32 different “R” sounds to consider as separate sounds!

The “R” sound is one of the last sounds to be mastered by children, many children can say a correct “R” sound by 5 ½ years old, but some don’t produce it until age 7. In general, if your child isn’t producing “R” by first grade, you should consult with a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP). An SLP can assess which of the 32 different “R” sounds your child consistently mispronounces to create therapy goals.  

That’s where the Worldwide Speech /r/ screener comes in!

The /r/ Screener is an informal assessment for students who need to work on the /r/ sound. This digital screening is used to determine the optimal place to begin articulation therapy for each individual. /r/ is a complex phoneme to produce, and what works well for one child doesn’t necessarily work for another.

Some do well beginning with initial /r/; some do well beginning with a blend; others may do best with vocalic /r/. Even within vocalic /r/, therapy can’t be one size fits all. That’s why this screening looks at initial /r/ followed by different vowels, all of the /r/ blends, and all of the vocalic /r/ sounds in the initial, medial, and final positions.

This screener will help you to identify what context the child is able to produce or is stimulable for. It can either be used in it’s entirety or with specific sections only. To keep kids’ attention, the PowerPoint slides advance with varied transitions, and stimulus pictures come in with fun and varied animations. Reading is not required for this screening. In addition, images are mainly real photos, and are appropriate for all ages.

In conclusion…

This /r/ screener will tell you exactly where you need to begin to help your student achieve their strong /r/!

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