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: How do you train a midline sibilant when a client has a lateral lisp on “Sh”?
There are many ways to develop a midline groove for the sibilants. The simplest way to get a midline groove for “Sh” is to use what Van Riper called the Association Method. The association method is the process of using a phoneme that the client already can produce to learn the new phoneme.
The old-timers usually recommended that we use “Long E,” as in the word “eat.” to teach “Sh”. I do this as follows:
- Have the client produce a “Long E” (as in the word “eat”). Exaggerate the “E” by smiling very broadly. This causes the tongue to spread in the rear and anchor its back-lateral margins up on the palate or molars. The position of the tongue for this exaggerated “E” is just about the same as that required for “Sh”.
- Have the client produce “Long E” as in #1 above with no voice (turn his voice off). Continue to exaggerate the oral position, and make sure he keeps his tongue firmly in position for “E”. This will result in a voiceless or whispered “E”.
- Now have him round his lips as he produces the whispered “E.” It should sound like “Sh” or something very close to it.
- If it does not sound quite like “Sh”, adjust the client’s jaw position upward a tiny bit. This will make it sound more like “Sh”.
- Use auditory discrimination activities to fine-tune the sound so that it sounds perfect.
- Continue the program on to syllables, words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs, and conversation.