Gather ‘Round, SLPs, for an R Sound Speech Therapy Pep Talk


Let me tell you a story about a young speech therapist.

Even all the speech therapy tips and tricks in the world don't always seem like enough to elicit or teach the R sound sometimes. This blog post is a pep talk.


I think you might see yourself in her, especially if you are a new SLP yourself. She was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to take on the world and correct ALL the speech errors. She landed a CF at her dream clinic and lemme tell you… SHE. WAS. PUMPED.

Her very first patient, of all things, was an R kid. And not just any R kid… an R kid with a bad attitude. Before every session, she had to give herself a pep-talk and take a deep breath. It was a stressful time, to say the least, and she just constantly felt like she was failing.

This little CF had to google the difference between retroflex and bunched r. Her supervisor had to help make sure she understood the correct positioning of retroflex- which she had never done before in her life- and which she STILL wasn’t confident in while trying it with the student. 

The young SLP tried everything she could think of with this R student. She googled high and low. She asked colleagues for tips. It just wasn’t happening.


And then one day…

The student discharged, r-less. Not what you were hoping to hear next, was it? That is just one of the worst feelings you face as an, SLP; not having been able to help a student.

When this happens, we have two options.

We can say “oh, I’m just not good at that area of speech-language pathology,” throw our hands in the air, and accept our fate.

OR we can study, research, learn new things, and persist.

Guess which one she chose?

You betcha. She worked hard and fast-forward a couple of years, she now ROCKS at correcting Rs. She has a total “bring it on” attitude and genuinely enjoys treating the R sound in speech therapy. She finds the challenge fun and is no longer overwhelmed… most of the time, anyway.

I am only sharing this story to remind you that the mark of a good therapist, and an even better person, is the willingness and desire to learn and improve. 

NOBODY starts as an expert. EVERYONE feels lost sometimes. WE cannot possibly know everything… and that is okay! There’s no fast-forward button. There is only hard work and trying lots of new things.

If you are interested in adding to your R “bag of tricks,” I’m happy to share my experience and insight. Like I said, I’ve put years into learning a variety of ways to teach the R sound and have actually found one that works for most of my kids.



I would also love to share some freebies and even more of my R tips with you! You can CLICK HERE to get your first R freebie now (the one pictured above).

I believe in you! Progress is just around the corner. Don’t give up!

Hi I’m Lindsey! I’m a pediatric SLP who specializes in the R sound. Fun fact- I actually used to dread the R but after dedicating a lot (like… a lot a lot) of time to researching and troubleshooting… I now love it! So much, in fact, that I currently spend my days treating “R kids” via my private practice and creating R resources and continuing education for SLPs via Speechy Things. I’m so glad you found me! Let’s “Rock the R” together!

Looking for something?

Join the VIPs for therapy ideas, freebies, and more!