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:
https://www.home-speech-home.com/teaching-sound-videos.html (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 therapy.com/index.php? option=com_content&view=article&id=48:butterfly&catid=11:admin
or using a bite block:
For the /z/ sound, Carrie Clark from SpeechandLanguageKids.com 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 https://mommyspeechtherapy.com/#sthash.7WaS5NTh.dpbs 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!
To produce the /b/ sound, use the following cues with your child.
- Watch My Mouth (this will help him see what your lips are doing)
- Put your lips together
- Make your lips pop
- Make your voice hum/Turn your voice on
Help your child push his lips together with his fingers if he’s having trouble getting them closed
To produce the /t/ sound, have your child tap her tongue right behind her top, front teeth. If your child is having trouble figuring out where to produce the /t/ sound, have your child tap her tongue right behind her top, front teeth. If your child is having trouble figuring out where to put her tongue, use these techniques to show her the right place.
Touch the spot right behind the top, front teeth with a popsicle stick or sucker. Then tell her to put her tongue in the same spot.
Put a sticky food, like peanut butter or marshmallow cream, on the spot right behind her top, front teeth. Then, have her lick it off. When you are describing that spot again, call it the sticky spot.
Most children make some mistakes as they learn to say new words. A speech sound disorder occurs when mistakes continue past a certain age. Every sound has a different range of ages when the child should make the sound correctly. Speech sound disorders include problems with articulation (making sounds) and phonological processes (sound patterns).
Services for infants, toddlers, and their families are available through Early ON. Information is available at the following website: