• Claw hand or pirate hook hand
  • Make a sound like a… tiger, bear, motorcycle, car, growl, dinosaur, lion, pirate
  • Pull your tongue back like a bow-and-arrow and point it up 
  • Provide visual supports- mouth model, images of mouth model with your own mouth, mirror, video examples
  • Karla
  • Sure
  • Ear
  • Erie
  • Eureka
  • Your
  • Earring
  • Ar
  • Car
  • Garlic
  • Carlos
  • Lerr 
  • Crunk (Karla Gill)
  • RL words: Charlie, Carlos, Harley, barley, darling, starling, Arlo (Jill Greshem)
  • Tap back of head and ask to pull tongue toward finger
  • “Move your tongue back toward your throat”
  • “Slide your tongue back like a turtle hiding in its shelf”
  • “Pretend your tongue is on railroad tracks and made it drive backwards” (can place pretzel sticks between the teeth to create tracks)
  • Help guide tongue back using gloved hand, tongue depressor, or floss pick
  • Place tongue depressor flat and horizontal across mouth as a “line in the sand” that their tongue cannot cross to promote retraction (Mia McDaniel, Putting Words in Your Mouth)
  • Gesture like you’re vacuuming back-and-forth and have tongue mimic the back motion
  • Lay down (on floor, or with head hanging slightly back like on yoga ball or off chair) and allow gravity to help with retraction
  • Hold out hand, palm placing down, and cup hand/slide back
  • “Make the back of your tongue tight like a fist but keep your throat and mouth relaxed”
  • Make a fist
  • Pull up on your chair
  • Use a rubber band to pull back and illustrate tension
  • Pull your tongue back and tight “like a bow and arrow” or “slingshot”
  • Check out this blog post for more ideas
  • “Make the sides of your tongue touch your top molars or gums”
  • Provide sensory input by rubbing food item to top molars/gums and asking to find that spot with sides of tongue (ex: sour spray, nut butter, cookie butter, lollipop, fun dip, frosting, etc)
  • Use “magic glue” to “glue” sides of tongue to molars/gums (touch sides of tongue and top molars/gums with toothette, lollipop, tongue depressor, fun dip, nut butter, frosting, etc)
  • “Pretend your top molars are railroad tracks and your tongue is a train”
  • The “twizzler trick”- lay approximately ⅓ of twizzler (or similar shaped licorice, red fine, sour punch straw, etc, or use silicone straw) horizontal across back of tongue and ask to push up (video) (blog post)
  • Shape your tongue like a… bowl, boat, taco, bird’s wings, butterfly’s wings, basket
  • Gesture like you’re cupping your hand to catch rain- shape your tongue like it’s catching rain to make a small pond
  • “Lift your tongue off the floor of your mouth”
  • “Round you lips a tiny bit”
  • “Keep the corners tight but relax the rest”
  • “Keep your lips steady”
  • “Your jaw looks clenched, try relaxing it and opening it a little”
  • “Your mouth is open too wide, try to close it a little”
  • Backflip tongue
  • Curl it like an elephant trunk
  • “Point your tongue to the roof of your mouth, but don’t touch”
  • Touch top of head “point your tongue to my finger”
  • Gesture with palm facing up and fingers curling
  • Shape from /l/- have them say /l/ and then slide tongue back about halfway and hover to move into “lerrrr”
  • Pretend like you’re licking ice cream and keep moving your tongue back in a curl
  • Pretend your tongue is a rooster throwing its had back to crow (you also throw your head back and crow- er er er er er)
  • Say your /l/ words “in the back” (can pair with L/R minimal pairs) -Esty Gottlieb

*Disclaimer: please acquire the necessary permissions (particularly with food items or possible allergens) and use your clinical discretion when considering any of these cueing ideas.

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Preston, J. L., Benway, N. R., Leece, M. C., Hitchcock, E. R., & McAllister, T. (2020). Tutorial: Motor-based treatment strategies for /r/ distortions. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 51(4), 966–980. https://doi.org/10.1044/2020_lshss-20-00012

 Reinking, Rebecca. (2021, October 10). I Have A Cue For That! [Conference Presentation] Speech Sound Disorder Series. https://www.bethebrightest.com/

Secord, W. A. (2007). Eliciting sounds: Techniques and strategies for clinicians. Thomson Delmar Learning.

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