Speech Motor Chaining is an evidence-based motor learning treatment for speech sound disorders. Our past research has shown that children who have demonstrated little progress following traditional treatment can improve their speech sounds with motor learning treatment. In this study, we are researching if Speech Motor Chaining within an alternative treatment schedule of four, 10-minute sessions provided weekly can be used to help children who are stimulable for “r” learn to produce “r” more consistently.

What is involved?

  • Speech pathology assessment (about 75 minutes)
  • 30-minute orientation to correct “R” production session
  • 32, 10-minute speech sessions occurring 4 times a week for 8 weeks
  • Three 30-minute recording sessions

All sessions for this study will occur over Zoom. Participants must have broadband wired internet connection and access to an Apple or Windows computer with the ability to join a Zoom session to be eligible for this study.

Who can take part?

Children between the ages of 7 and 9 years old who have difficulty saying the “R” sound and who:

  • Have normal/adjusted to normal hearing
  • Speak English as a first language
  • Have no other developmental concerns
  • Have no oral or facial structural issues
  • Are stimulable for “R” after a 30-minute teaching session


  • A speech pathology assessment report
  • 32 free 10-minute speech sessions over Zoom

Not everyone will be a good candidate for this study. Parents who are interested in having their families participate in the study can complete the Electronic Screener by clicking here.

If your responses to this screening tool indicate that your child may be a good candidate, a lab member will contact you for a more in-depth screening via phone or Zoom call.


For more information, contact Benedette (Benny) Herbst at bmherbst@syr.edu or call (315) 443-1351.

For more study information, please review the following documents:
(Parent) Informed Consent and Child Assent documents