Part 1: Elicit the R:
The Bite-R was designed to create tongue tension. Additionally, when the child bites on the bite plates, the jaw is stabilized as well as the lips when they are protruded into an “sh” shape.
The child is then asked to slide the tongue under the elastic (midfront of the tongue) and given the command to pull up and back with the elastic band. When that happens, the child stabilizes the lateral edges of the tongue on the insides of the upper molars. All of this creates the stability needed for a tongue that is placed correctly and with tension to produce an acoustically perfect R!
Part 2: Using Tactile Therapy to Elicit the more challenging R sounds:
Once the Bite-R has been used for a few sessions, children develop tongue awareness which in turn develops their awareness of their sound productions. The Tactile Therapy changes from previous treatments in that the child is taught to talk about the location of the lips, jaw (teeth) and tongue. Once the child is aware of the articulators, imprecise movements can be changed to ones that produce an r sound that the child can say again and again.
There will still be challenging words/vowel combinations for the child. At first the technique used is to have the child pause after the vowel and then silently practice the vowel sound and then practice the Bite-R position. The child should be asked to describe the movements. The silent vowel and R are practiced slowly at first and then when the child has smoothed the movements, the word is attempted out loud.
Part 3: Customization of the R:
The child’s tongue posture at rest and in vowel production may not be placed at the location considered for traditional sound production. For example, the “a” sound in rain can be made with the tongue tip on the alveolar ridge and on the lower gum line with little change in sound. The placement of the tongue, will and can, affect the sound of the /r/.
So…Customization works like this: This child is asked to tell the placement of the tongue during the production of sounds near the R sound. Then movements are described to the child in order for him to make the smallest and least noticeable movements from sound to sound in order to produce automaticity and correct sound production.
Part 4: Conversation:
With the use of the Bite-R and tactile therapy, the child will slide easily into conversation.