Lisps and S: Working With Your Own Child

By Pam Marshalla

from flickr, some rights reservedQ: I am an SLP and a mother with a four-year-old boy who has a frontal lisp. Do you think I should work with him, and if so, what simple things could I do at home?

I always tell parents we do not have to work on a frontal lisp in a preschool child, but we usually do anyway because the parents want it.

I find that the absolute key to remediation of the frontal lisp has three essential parts: to discover S and Z, to get the jaw high, and to get the tongue in.

Activities for preschool children are simple and might include––

  • Watching and listening to S and Z alone and in simple words.
  • Learning to get the jaw up by biting and chewing on firm foods. (Many of these kids “munch” instead of “chew” so we are teaching the more mature chewing pattern.)
  • Informal mirror work where we play with Mr. Tongue––poking him out and pulling him in and hiding him behind the teeth, etc.
  • Making the “snake” sound with the front teeth together.
  • Making the “bee” sound with the front teeth together.
  • Moving on to simple words.

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