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  • Which R does the Bite-R teach? TheRetroflex R? The Retracted R?
    The Bite-R teaches the lateral edges to anchor on the upper back molars, which is the appropriate place for stabilization and elevation. The mid tongue is retracted giving a constriction between the tongue and the palate which is necessary for the American R sound. Once the client is aware of his tongue tension and position, a customized R sound is easy to accomplish. We work to make sure that the client achieves his R sound in order for carryover to happen spontaneously.
  • How old is the youngest child? the oldest child?
    We recommend that the child be around the age of 6 in order to have a mouth large enough to accept the Bite-R and be able to place the mid-front of the tongue under the tension band. Any age of student beyond the age of 6 years can use the Bite-R...even adults that may have missed the opportunity to learn the R sound at the proper age. We've seen 21-year-old men be able to volitionally produce R on the first session. Yes! Even the vowelized R sounds have been achievable once they are aware of their articulators.
  • How often is speech therapy homework administered?
    We do not recommend homework when using the Bite-R. Frankly, it isn't necessary. Our concern with homework is that others who are not trained in sound development will not recognize the cause of a distorted R that may arise when the child drops the tongue during the R sound production.
  • Can parents have one for home?
    Again, it is not necessary. We have observed that children retain their skill levels or even improve over summer break. (with no homework given!)
  • Can we clean this articulation device and use it for other students?
    No. It is a single client use device. Simply throw it away when the child has finished the R sound. We designed our kits to be affordable. For the school-based SLP, the Replacement Kit provides services to 5 individuals for a little over $100. When compared to the cost of therapy for 3 years, a $20 plus investment is money savings for the school, time savings for the speech pathologist, and self-esteem saving for the youngster.
  • My R kid seems to be lazy! He produces R in therapy accurately, but he doesn't choose to produce it in conversation.
    The problem is not motivation. The problem is the location of your client's tongue position at rest and in conversation. Many children that we have worked with have a down tongue position at rest. Surprisingly, they can make most sounds vowels and consonants from this lax downward position. With the Bite-R, you can customize and teach the child how to make the R sound volitionally. Since the child can feel the location of his tongue, you can work with the correct placement and increase the number of times the tongue is elevated. We teach the tongue to search for stability, elevation, and tension.
  • My student doesn't listen to me. I give his directions each session and he makes the same mistakes repeatedly. Is it time to dismiss him?
    Don't dismiss your student. He needs tactile therapy to help him become aware of his articulators and the position of each of them. See our video section for how to achieve the R using Tactile Therapy. *Note: Traditional Speech Therapy works on imitation while Tactile Therapy focuses on muscle movement. Tactile Therapy asks the child to repeat the incorrect movement and analyze what went wrong. Once they become aware of the articulators, the correct placement is a breeze.
  • My R student isn't completing my homework. Should I take this as a lack of interest and dismiss him?
    There are multiple reasons why children don't complete homework. 1) They don't know how to complete the homework. 2) They are afraid of failing. 3) They know they aren't making the R sound correctly. 4) There isn't anyone willing to listen to them say the R words. Do you really want them to practice their mistakes? Using the Bite-R helps the student monitor his own sound production and makes it easy for him to self-correct.
  • My client doesn't even know if his R is correct! How can I continue with therapy?
    Schuster experimented (1998) and found that children couldn't perceive their own errors even when the errors had been digitized and corrected. The Bite-R uses the proprioception in order to become aware of tongue movements. The idea is that the child who cannot auditorally perceive the accuracy of the R sound can suddenly feel the accuracy of the mouth movements. The Mouth then develops into an automatic posture and movement for the client. Schuster, L, (1998) The Perception of Correctly and Incorrectly Produced R, Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 41, 941-950
  • My student has been in therapy for a long time. He's not making progress. I should dismiss him, correct?
    You may need to do a little more investigation in the cause of the lack of progress. Consider if the problem is due to a motor impairment such as dysarthria, or a lack of understanding of how to perform the R, or an inability to perceive his own accuracy. The Bite-R has been helpful in making appropriate diagnosis into the difficulty of R. Imagaine if your client could answer where his tongue was located...specifically. Imagine your client being able to discern the R production as correct, incorrect, or correct, but needs improvement. Your child may require tongue tension. Many SLPs tell us that after using the Bite-R, their clients sound better "in general." At first, I thought that the improvement was due to the prevelance of the R sound in our language. Later, I realized that incorrect tongue posture and tension causes an imprecise sound. Vowels are sligtly distorted with word endings sounding off. Try the Bite-R today.

Troubleshooting the R Sound

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