November 13th, 2013

Ready for S

Although there is no amazingly illustrated book to help you teach your child/student the  S sound, it’s time to launch a new sound.  The sound is very commonly mispronounced  in English. Many people refer to this as a “lisp”. Let me explain.  When you say S your tongue is behind your teeth.  Some children and adults put the tongue between their teeth so S sounds like TH.

Just like the R sound you should ask some questions before you start trying to correct S:

  1. Can the child say S by itself? Ask him to look in a mirror or at your face. Say, “Can you say sssss?”
  2. Is he developmentally ready to say the sound?  Many 2 year olds have difficulty with S, that’s considered normal.  If a 6 or 7 year old is still having trouble he needs some help.
  3. Can you get a correct sound by saying;

What does a snake say?”   or

Keep your tongue in.”         or

Close your teeth.”

If your child can’t say S by itself and he’s only 3 or 4 years old, you could wait a month or 2 and try again.  If  he’s 5,6 or 7 years old  you should find a speech-language pathologist at your child’s school and ask for help.

If you can get your child to say S by itself you’re ready for the next step. Stayed tuned for part 2.  In the meantime you can-

  •  Talk about “the snake sound” and point out when you hear it. You could say,  “Sandwich, that has the snake sound.”
  •  Get a book out from the library that has many words with S.
  • Read the book emphasizing S . (Seven Silly Eaters by MaryAnn Hoberman is a good one to try.)
  • Don’t expect your child to say S correctly in words yet-just help tune his ear to it.
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