When children misarticulate /s/, it is often in one of two ways:

-a frontal lisp (or ‘interdental lisp), occurs when the tongue comes out between the teeth (much like a ‘th’ sound).

-a lateral lisp, occurs when air comes out of the sides of the mouth rather than through the front of the mouth causing a slushy, distorted sounding /s/.

  • For a frontal lisp, encourage, teach or train the child to keep his/her ‘teeth together’. The following post from experienced speech-language pathologists offer great advice and tips:                                           (Exclusive /s/ technique)

  • For a lateral lisp, teach the child to direct the air though the front of the mouth. Some suggested strategies include ‘shaping the tongue like a butterfly’:

Butter fly position:

https://speech-language                                                     option=com_content&view=article&id=48:butterfly&catid=11:admin

or using a bite block:


For the /z/ sound, Carrie Clark from says to “use the same cues as /s/ but this time your child will need to hum or turn her voice on.  You can have her practice turning her voice on by humming a tune while saying the /s/ sound.”


To practice ‘th’ sounds, it is important for the child to protrude his/her tongue out between his teeth.  This is the only time the child is allowed to ‘stick out your tongue’!


To learn more about how to make the ‘th’ sounds, visit:

It’s always worthwhile to practice your child’s speech sounds at home.

Visit for well prepared materials to help your child practice his/her targeted speech sounds.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about your child’s speech practice, talk with your school speech and language pathologist!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *