Using Bite-R in Speech Therapy

Friday, October 1, 2021


Happy Friday! I am really excited share a therapy tool that I have been using with my students (and my own son!) called Bite-R with you all. Before I start telling you all about my Bite-R experience, I want to introduce you to Susan Haseley. She is a speech-language pathologist and the creator of Bite-R. Susan had two students that were unable to achieve the R sound and ended up being her inspiration to invent this device in 2013. I met Susan at ASHA a few years ago. I was intrigued by her demonstration and the research she presented on her invention. At the time, I didn't have many articulation students on my caseload so I did not end up purchasing a kit. But fast forward to this year where I have a ton of kids with only R on my caseload... I reached back out to Susan about giving Bite-R a try, and here we are today!

What is Bite-R?

The Bite-R is a tactile therapy device that helps bring awareness to the movement, tension, and stability needed to produce the /r/ sound correctly. The device is made with an elastic tension band that helps create sensory motor memory. /R/ has always been one of the hardest sounds to teach because it is produced in the back of the mouth making it more difficult to show our students correct placement. The Bite-R gives the student the tactile cues of correct placement along with our verbal cues for correct production. I am definitely more of a visual learner, so if you are like me and want to see how this works, you can check out  Susan's video demonstrations, here. 

What's Included?

I personally own the Start Up Kit. The Kit includes 2 Bite-Rs with Cases, 1 Practice Deck, 1 Manual, 1 Instruction Booklet, Charting Form and Sentence Analysis forms. The Practice Deck provides a list of 30 functional words that contain R in a variety of positions and contexts (vowels, blends, consonantal) and the common misarticulations for each word with instructions for remediation. The Manual includes a chapter specifically on vowels and a chapter that goes in depth with those children who don't make successful productions right away. All kits come with a certificate for free live online training with Susan, which I highly recommend. 

So, how did it work?
I really was pleased with Bite-R and how well the tactile cues from this device works. It's important to make sure the client is comfortable with the device being placed in their mouth. Letting him/her hold Bite-R and really check it out to learn how it works first was helpful. Students don't practice their words with the device in. They use it for a way to feel correct placement for a few seconds, then take it out to practice target words now that they knowl how /r/ should feel. Since this is something I am placing in a child's mouth, I made sure to share this program and the evidence based research with my students' parents before we started.  

My personal opinion is that this product would be ideal for private practice therapists working with students one on one. Not that school based therapists wouldn't benefit from this, but you really want to give the student maximum attention for placement using the device. I love the practice deck with cards showing mouth placement for students to imitate. The words are very functional and ideal for making a copy of to send home for practice. I would highly recommend this product to other therapists working with children with speech sound disorders, especially those that only have R left to correct and are really struggling for correct placement. 

This post was sponsored by Bite-R. I was given the start up kit in exchange for a blog review. All opinions expressed in this blog post are mine. 

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