How to Teach the ‘S’ Sound

First off - I wanted to mention that there are two types of lisps. One is the lisp where the ‘s’ sound is produced incorrectly with the tongue between the teeth called an  ‘interdental lisp’ (e.g. ‘thoup’ for ‘soup’). The other one is when the airflow goes on either side of the tongue making the ‘s’ sound ‘slushy’ called a ‘lateral lisp’.

The correct way to say the ‘s’ sound has the airflow going through the centre of the mouth.

The first thing to do is to determine whether the lisp is interdental or lateral. If the lisp is interdental, most of the ‘s’ sounds will sound more like a ‘th’ sound. If it is ‘lateral’, you will hear a lot of ‘slushy’ talking.

If you’re a parent and you find it difficult to tell if your child has a lisp, you’re not alone. Sometimes you can ‘get used to’ the way your child sounds.

Many parents request that we begin working on the ‘s’ sound early because lisps can be distracting, and can make it difficult for people to understand the child. Sometimes I see children before they enter Junior Kindergarten (in Canada) so that would be age 3 and a half to 4 years.

Other times children start working on the ‘s’ sound a bit later, especially if they have other sounds that they are working on.

If you have a child that has a lisp, it is recommended to begin working on it early because it can be a sound that takes a while to correct. The ‘s’ sound is one of the most common sounds in the English language. Share this blog with your friends!