Q: I saw a client with /r/ problems and dismissed him after he could produce /r/ with reminders on picture-naming tasks. I saw him again a year later and his /r/ had deteriorated. Should this have happened? Should I put him back in therapy, or do you think that this will take care of itself?
What I have done with these kids is the following:
You let him go too quickly. Never dismiss a client until the process of articulation therapy is complete. A child who still needs reminders is not finished. A child who is only working on picture naming is not finished.
I would not trust that this would work out on its own. You already have proof of that; it has not worked out on it’s own in more than a year.
I would put him back in therapy and finish him. My guess is that he was dismissed too soon – before the sound was stabilized and before he understood what the correct sound would mean for his life. He needs continued therapy to motivate him and to habituate the correct production. You need to work beyond single words. Work on phrases, sentences, paragraphs, and conversation. And you need to fade your cues (reminders) to teach him how to do this on his own.