Getting rid of that cute lisp
Lisps (not saying the ‘s’ sound accurately) are really cute until your child is 4 and a half years old and starting to socialise more. By then, lisps can start to impact:
- Ability to be understood
- Confidence when interacting with peers
- Sharing during group time at school
- Ability to sound out words for spelling
- Confidence in sharing their opinions
Here are some simple tips and tricks to get your child saying the “s” sound to eliminate the lisp:
- Praise your child when they correct their own speech without you needing to remind them (e.g. “Hey I liked the way you fixed up sock. First you said thock and then you fixed it up all by yourself and said sock! Well done for fixing it up without me telling you!”)
- Be specific when praising your child for fixing up their own speech. Say, “I like the way you said sock with a good /s/ sound at the beginning.” This will help to draw their attention to exactly what they have said and hopefully increase their awareness in general conversation.
- Draw your child’s attention to the target sound in words that they are exposed to in everyday situations/activities. For example, “Look, there is your sock. It starts with a /s/ sound. Sock”.
- Model back what your child has said the correct way without asking them to repeat the word again. Asking them to constantly repeat themselves becomes frustrating for everyone (e.g.. Child: “A tat!” Adult: “Yes, it’s a cat. Cat”).
- When you notice you have modelled back what the child has said the correct way, remember to do it again with the same sound or word four or five times later on the same day.
Don’t leave it until school starts to act – allow time to resolve the lisp before your child starts school by calling 1800 KIDSENSE (1800 543 736) to see a Speech Pathologist today.