HOW TO TEACH THE S SOUND
Emerges between 3 and 3 1/2 years of age
Mastered between 7 and 9 years of age
Post written for AK and his mama TK
If your little one is capable of producing the T sound…I will use this sound to shape the S sound….try this simple strategy yourself…produce the T sound repeatedly and fast…like this: TTTTTTTTTTTT….you will notice that it will sound like the S sound. This will help your little one with placement of the sound. Both the T sound and the S sound are made in the same spot…the little bump behind your top front teeth..(called the alveolar ridge).
Often times just telling your little one that the S sound is the snake sound will help them to understand what sound they are making….they typically are aware that a snake makes a hissing sound…and this cue helps them in production of the S sound.
Remind your little one to keep her mouth closed…and her teeth together…to prevent her tongue from protruding….ask her to make the snake sound. I will also use this visual cue to show her that the S sound is a sound that continues:
Take your pointer finger…place at your lips….as you are making the S sound move your finger straight out away from your body…showing her that the S sound continues.
You can help her with positioning and production by putting your index fingers at the corners of her mouth and gently pulling them back to a retracted position (like a smile)…as she attempts to make the S sound.
Remember to start off with syllables….then simple words..then phrases…then sentences…and finally in conversation.
Hope this was helpful!
www.speakingofspeech.com (this is a great website with lots of free articulation pages you can print to work on your child’s target sound)
****”The S sound is among the most frequently misarticulated consonants, produced variously toward the TH (you will hear a lisp)…or toward the SH sound. It is degraded by abnormal dentition and often with dentures, and is one of the first sounds affected by hearing loss. The S sound is one of the most frequently occurring consonants in American-English speech.”
Donald R. Calvert Ph.D. Descriptive Phonetics