Language: has trouble saying the "R", 4 tips from the speech therapist

Language: has trouble saying the
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"Mom, today at school we saw a very hollow cViceto ..." raise your hand if you have not had at least a shadow of concern when hearing your child pronounce the R incorrectly (with chills that increase in the presence of words like "Green lizard Brown"). When should you worry? "Like all questions concerning language, the distinction to be made is to see if it is an isolated problem or connected to others", explains Eleonora La Monaca, speech therapist and owner of the blog Mamma speech therapist.


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When the problem may arise

"You start to pay attention to the" R "around 4-5 years old", continues Dr. La Monaca: "Taking into account that it is an articulated sound, one must intervene if it occurs in a context of several sounds pronounced in an altered way ".

The possible causes

"If, on the other hand, the incorrect pronunciation of the" R "is the only noteworthy one, we need to understand what it depends on." The factors could be many: «The child could have an immaturity in oral swallowing, or in the movements of the mouth - explains Dr. La Monaca -. In order to produce the "R", in this case, the tongue must be at the top: children who breathe with the mouth and not with the nose keep it very low ».

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How can you intervene

Parents can help their children improve the pronunciation of this letter: "You can try to suggest this sound often, show them how to put their tongue on the palate and encourage the little ones to practice together several times a day" suggests the Dr. La Monaca. "A fun game that can be done together is to invite the children to answer the question 'How does the engine do it?': the noise they will reproduce, 'Trrr trr' helps them because the 't' is a supporting sound to the 'r' ". To get children to cooperate, it may be helpful to see a speech therapist. «The intervention of a specialist can be useful above all because the situation of the child's orality is considered in a broader way, and frames the single problem in an overall vision. With 7-8 sessions on the "R" problem it could easily be considered solved ».

Evaluate on a case-by-case basis

In deciding whether to intervene or not, it is necessary to take into account that if the little one does not feel discomfort and is not laughed at by kindergarten classmates, it is not necessary to worry: "With the approach to reading and writing, children could solve the problem by alone: ​​we must evaluate case by case ».


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  • speech therapist
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