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.
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.