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Welcome to the Articulation Section!
The S Sound
/s/ initial sound
/s/ medial sound
/s/ final sound
The /s/ sound is one of the most misarticulated sounds. Sometimes it is omitted so that /sun/ becomes /un/, sometimes the tongue protrudes instead of staying on the alveolar ridge so that /sun/ becomes /thun/. Other times the airflow escapes from the sides of the mouth and /sun/ becomes a slushy /shun/.
To form the sound correctly, the tip of the tongue is on the alveolar ridge (the hump behind the upper front incisors). The sides of the tongue touch the sides of the teeth. The air travels over the center of the tongue. It is sometimes referred to as “the snake sound: s-s-s-s.”
For some children it is easier to start with a "t" sound for placement. Repeat the "t", then move to the "s" like "t-t-t-sssss". Once the child can repeat "t-t-t-sssss" accurately, try words that end with "ts".
Many children have this sound by 5 years of age, but others may not until after the permanent front teeth are grown.
Just practice the sound you are targeting. For example, if you want to practice /s/, then say the sound 10 times twice each day. Just be sure NOT to add a syllable after the sound. Practice "s-s-s-s", not "sah".
Next add the syllable. Work on the sound in one position - in the beginning of words, "sun", middle of word, "beside" or end of words, "mess". Pick one position (beginning, middle, or end) and get comfortable before moving to another position.
If syllables are now easy and pronounced right, it's time to move to words. Practice words in the position you are targeting. If you have targeted the sound in the beginning of words, then find 10-20 words and practice them using different types of games.
If you're ready to move on, put the target words into phrases and sentences. You can make up phrases and sentences, or use pattern sentences like "I want a _____."
Listen for the correct sound during normal conversation. If it is mispronounced, call attention to it and repeat to correct it.
Start over with another position of the same sound.
For information on production of this sound go to:
Sounds of English
The Phonetics Flash Animation Project
General Information on getting services
Going to a Speech Therapist
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