Ever since I was a child I had troubles speaking. I simply cannot pronounce an R. As a result, I've lost A LOT of self confidence. I've become a follower, not a leader. I'm knees shake when I speak in public. If I have to give a presentation, I try to avoid using words that start with an R because I pronounce it more like the R is a W.
High School has helped because I knew going in that I had to read out loud and give presentations if my teacher asked.
Back in grade school I did have an instructor help me, but she was quite cruel and I stopped seeing her. She would teach me to curl my tongue back to pronounce R's.
I have the top grades in all my classes right now. I excell at English, and I read and write it well. Weird huh? I'm not an idiot, but I do have learning disabilities. In fact, all my siblings do too. Because of this, I believe this could very well be a learning disorder.
What can I do to practice my speech? Actors learn new accents all the time. I'm just lost as to where to look. I'm trying to find an online resource that could help me learn an "American English" accent. My hopes are to get into the habit of speaking correctly.
Any info you could provide would be great. Thanks for the time.
I don't have any great advice to give you, but I did want to comment. I work in child care and I've noticed over the years there are more and more children who can't pronounce R. When I was in grade school I didn't know anyone like that. When I was in Jr.High I new one person and no one in highschool. That leads me to believe it WAS quite rare.
Now there are a phenomenal number of young children that can't pronounce R. I have speculated that it might just be the way things are evolving. I really don't know.
I know it doesn't help your speach, and you are a couple generations older than those kids, but you are most certainly NOT alone in that difficulty. I wish you the best of luck.
You should ask your primary care physician for a referral to see a speech pathologist. What you are describing is typically a correctable thing. A speech pathologist would be able to take a look at how you pronounce all sounds in the english language and see if there is any physical reason as to why you are having difficulty pronouncing the /r/ sounds. They would also be able to teach you how to pronounce the sounds correctly. It sounds as if this problem was addressed when you were younger, but unfortunately maybe you were released from therapy too soon. If your insurance company will not pay for you to receive speech therapy, then check into your local univerisities. They often have speech therapy masters degrees programs where you can receive therapy for a very small fee. It sounds like you are very motivated to fix this problem. Most likely, one can never say for sure, but you would probably be able to get this problem corrected. Good luck to you!
Hi. I too had trouble pronouncing the "R" sound when I was a young child and into my teen years. Fortunately for me, my teachers noticed and were able to recommend me to the school's speech therapist. I spent about 5 years in therapy (kind of overdone if you ask me) but I came away knowing how to pronounce the "R" sound well and am now a perfectly good public speaker in my college classes. I would think that contacting your family physician would be a good start and seeing who he/she can recommend for speech therapy. Chances are it wouldn't take long for you to work on your problem areas and you shouldn't have to be on it long-term. Good luck.
To tell you the truth I highly doubt it is a learning disability...if you cannot pronounce the letter "R" then you just have a speeck problem and can go to a speech therapist to correct the problem. I could not pronounce the letter "S" when I was younger and I just had speech therapy and now I can prounounce it.