This advice-column-style blog for SLPs was authored by Pam Marshalla from 2006 to 2015, the archives of which can be explored here. Use the extensive keywords list found in the right-hand column (on mobile: at the bottom of the page) to browse specific topics, or use the search feature to locate specific words or phrases throughout the entire blog.
Prioritizing the Frontal Lisp and Cluster Reduction
By Pam Marshalla
Q: My client is beginning to use S-blends, but she does so with an interdental lisp. Do I treat the phonological process first and let her lisp, or treat the lisp first and then the process? Or should I do both concurrently? I am worried about reinforcing the lisp.
I would work on the phonology first to stimulate the use of the phoneme within the language. Then I would address place of articulation. That’s the way I would organize it in my head, at least, because that’s the way it evolves in normal development. For example, it is very common for a two-year-old to develop plural (Hats, cats…) with interdental tongue placement on S. The child gets the phonological pattern first, and then she sorts out place of articulation.
Having said that, I would be stimulating normal oral stability all the way along, but I will not describe that process here. That way, as the S emerges, it will be produced in a stabile way –– with the jaw high and the tongue in.