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Nearly 4 and can't pronouce 'R's - unusual?

(29 Posts)
Magscat Wed 20-Apr-05 19:53:58

I wouldn't be particularly worried about this but he is staring school in September and his name begins with an 'R'. Am wondering if the other kids will take the p* or if it's totally normal at his age for 'r' words to sounds just like 'w' words. His speech generally is very good. Should we encourage him to practice saying 'r' instead of 'w' or would that just make an issue of it and make him self-conscious. Any thoughts anyone?

debs26 Wed 20-Apr-05 19:58:18

have just been to speech therapy today, ds has trouble with c and g (normal if you are under three but he is 5 in august). i mentioned that l and r both come out as w and she said that is totally normal for his age, dont worry about it. hth

SoupDragon Wed 20-Apr-05 21:01:41

DS2 is exactly the same. Very common apparently along with TH and J sounds. We simply repeat the words back to him with the correct pronunciation. TH he can manage if we press him on it but R is a complete mystery to him.

DS2 came out with a cracker - W is for Wino. Still makes me laugh.

miam Wed 20-Apr-05 21:14:52

Just further to what debs said, my dds salt has told me that l and r are two of the last letters develop, and can take until they are 6yo until they are pronounced properly. I would leave encouraging him to practice the sounds for now. If he needs help later on (and it doesnt sound like he will) the speech therapist will show you some fabulous strategies for encouraging his pronunciation without causing him to feel self-conscious. Dont worry atall, he sounds just fine. xx

Dior Wed 20-Apr-05 22:31:24

Message withdrawn

MarsLady Wed 20-Apr-05 22:35:03

DD2 couldn't say her "Cs" for a long time. She used to say.... I tan't put my toat on. Tan you help me.

I think she must've been about 5 when the "Cs" finally came.

Dior Wed 20-Apr-05 23:02:36

Message withdrawn

redsky Wed 20-Apr-05 23:40:46

please forgive hijack - it's way too late now as ds is 17 - but his 'r' sound has never been very strong. At what age should I have tackled this?

Chandra Wed 20-Apr-05 23:55:07

Agree about r being one of the last sounds to appear.

Redsky, no idea. Is he able to make the r stronger if he is reminded to do it? Maybe he will get it soon, if he feels self-concious about it. But does he need to feel self-concious about it? it may sound like a lovely personal accent.

jodee Thu 21-Apr-05 00:08:29

DS is just 5 and having speech therapy at school. Interesting about the "r", he can say it clearly, but struggles with lots of other sounds and drops the consonants off the ends of words.

The therapist is working on one sound at a time, we have done "s" and are now on "g"; he still drops the S if he is being lazy, e.g. "piderman", but we say it correctly back to him.

Disappointing to learn that "L" is one of the last sounds they pick up, he doesn't say his name correctly - Luke comes out as "yute".

Magscat, to pick up on your concerns, ds doesn't appear to be self-conscious at all and manages to communicate with his peers and is very popular. I do know that a couple of children have said "you talk funny" in my earshot when they have been playing at our home, but it doesn't appear to have bothered him and I know the teachers clamp down very firmly on any kind of bullying or teasing, whatever it may be.

redsky Thu 21-Apr-05 00:54:58

Chandra - it's not a big issue for him (or us). I think he drew my attention to it because he has trouble saying his sister's name. Actually she probably noticed it and teased him! I think it is just one of his rather endearing quirks but if he seriously wanted help I wonder if it's too late to do anything? When he tries really hard to make it stronger I can't say I notice much difference.

Chandra Thu 21-Apr-05 01:00:57

I don't know really but I feel some sympathy to the problem. I have not been able to pronounce correctly V instead of B unless I pay a lot of attention to it, but TBH I can't even hear the difference, and some people thinks it's just another little twist of my foreign accent (even in my own country )

Magscat Thu 21-Apr-05 08:57:56

Thanks for the reassurance everyone. I think we'll just continue with saying the words back to him correctly but not pushing it at all. It's just that sometimes he gets frustrated with his 'stupid' parents when we can't tell which word he's saying and then he gets frustrated with himself because he can't say it properly. Sounds like it's early days though so I won't worry. Dior -Interesting what you said about 'Sh' and 'j'. We have the same thing - 'seep' in the field not sheep but no problem with jam, jelly and his favourite one at the moment - jail (blame Noddy & P.C. Plod). Thanks again.

Magscat Thu 21-Apr-05 09:01:35

Chandra - Don't know if this helps but I tried learning Urdu a couple of times I found that it helped to think about 'b' when saying 'v' - e.g. the word for door, 'darwaja' - I would make my mouth say 'v' in the middle but be thinking about it as if it was 'darbaja' -I know this doesn't sound like it makes much sense but either way I wouldn't worry. I'm sure people understand well enough.

Miaou Thu 21-Apr-05 09:15:40

dd1 was about 4.5 before she consistently pronounced "r" correctly - once she got to the stage where she could do it but only when she concentrated hard, we used to pretend we didn't understand her until she said it correctly! Sounds a bit mean but she thought it was a huge game so it worked with her. Dd2's "r" took longer to come but she became aware of it herself and you can hear her making an effort to get it right - lots of praise when she did worked for her. She is 6.5 now and still has to concentrate on the sound.

Dh used to make a game of it with them - they were in hysterics (laughing) trying to say "around the rugged rocks the ragged rascals ran"!

I supposed the key with our two was that they became aware of it themselves and we supported and praised their efforts to say it correctly - but this didn't happen with either of them until they were 4.5 or 5 - so I shouldn't worry yet, Magscat. And I doubt if his peers at school will notice tbh.

Blu Thu 21-Apr-05 09:52:42

speech development info
DS, 3.9, can't pronounce 'L', it all comes out as 'Y'.

albert Thu 21-Apr-05 10:08:11

Don't worry - I'm 41 and I still can say my Rs properly (or should I type pwoperly) Seriously though, it's never been a problem for me. I had elecution lessons for years and went to drama school, even won a few prizes and have worked as an English language teacher so I really wouldn't over worry about it. FWIW DS (5) can't say th yet but since that only exists in 1 of the 3 languages he speaks I'm not really concerned.

albert Thu 21-Apr-05 10:11:51

Oops, that should read 'can't' say my Rs
Miaou, don't ask me to say that round the rugged rocks thing, it's a disaster!

Blu Thu 21-Apr-05 10:30:39

Hey, Jonathon Woss is a millionaire! As a presenter.

aloha Thu 21-Apr-05 10:34:15

ds - 3.7 - can't say it either. He complains to me about it - "Mummy, I can't say 'W'"
I just say, never mind, you will be able to say it when you are big.

littlerach Thu 21-Apr-05 10:40:07

DD1 sees a SALT and does the opposite; she says R instead of W and L instead of Y! But all her other sounds have improved so much that it doesn't matter too much.

Magscat Thu 21-Apr-05 11:34:03

Blu, Littlerach - you've reminded me: 'y' is another one. He says 'lellow' not 'yellow' but I'm pretty sure he could say 'yak' and 'yacht' when we had a story with them in from the library the other week. From what everyone is saying it seems pretty clear there's no point worrying about it yet, if at all. Thanks.

Tanzie Thu 21-Apr-05 13:27:50

Jodee, my DD's best friends are (according to her) Yuke and Moyyie! She's 4.

crazy Thu 21-Apr-05 13:32:24

i'm 30 and still can't! and like albert , I have also been a English language teacher to foreign students, so there is probably hundrend of spanish/french ex students of mine going round saying things like " I hate it how it weally wains in England all the time!"

donnie Thu 21-Apr-05 14:11:18

dd is 3.5 and has a lisp - ' mummy are we going to the thopth? ' .I wouldn't worry!

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