Re: Saying the "R" sound
My son(turned 5 last dec) is in speech therapy, he is in a phonological program which helps to correct the letters being pronouce incorrectly. For example he used to say "tat" for "cat", that is called fronting, putting a different letting in front.
Speech pathologists said by age 3 they should not be doing this. He has been in a program through the school district which is awesome.
I'm volunteering tomorrow so I'll ask her about the r sound.
That is what he is working on right now, there are 4 and 5 yr olds in his class btw.
If it's just one sound then maybe it's not as much a problem, my son had a ton he has worked on and can say most of them correctly now or at least when corrected, like S, F, K, G, SN, ST. R is one of the last and now we are on sentences.
So they use tactile cue's to help the kids say the sound. For example, S you make a trail like a snake down your arm(child does it to their arm) and exaggerate the S. For P, you puff up your cheek and POP your finger off the cheek. For SP, like spoon you do both.
So here's the R:
place the tips of both index fingers on the side of the lower jaw near the back teeth. As you say /r/ move your finger tips up along the jaw lines towards your ears.
When you( and your child) use the cues with R words or whatever the problem letter is, then it makes a huge difference. The movement kinda helps them know physically where to make the sound for most of them and it also reminds them to correct themselves. My son often corrects himself now.
In case you are wondering we also get flashcards from them with sounds we are working on, like now it's rack, rake etc, we get words to read to them with the letter(sometimes begining letter, sometimes ending letter) and they listen to words on headphones in school at a listening station, projects with the letter.
Check with your school district to see if they evaluate and even your local school he will be going to so they might be able to have speech set up for him for kindergarten.
My nephew is 10 and just started speech for a lisp(very fast progress btw as he's older and motivated) because kids makeing fun, so it's better to get things done when younger IMO.
Hope that helps, I'll update with what SP says about age of R should be spoken correctly.
Mama of 4!
and precious little one 11/10/11