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As Sylvester the Cat would say: Suffering Succotash!
Those slushy /s/ sounds can be so frustrating: for speech pathologists, teachers, parents and - most importantly - the poor child who sounds like Sylvester but doesn't know how to fix it.
The technical name for that slushy, saliva-soaked /s/ sound is a "lateral lisp". Lateral means "side" and lateral lisps are where the child's airflow during a /s/ is directed down the sides of the tongue, instead of straight down the centre.
Lateral lisps are developmentally appropriate and should be tackled as soon as possible. But, as most paediatric speech pathologists will attest, lateral lisps can be tricky to treat.
To make things easier for clients, families, teachers, and speech pathologists, we have produced the Slushy /s/ Zapper. Developed through trial and error in our clinic with input from clients, the Slushy /s/ Zapper tackles lateral lisps methodically, starting with lots of audio recordings to help the client to hear the difference between a lisped and normal /s/, then stepping up through a series of exercises designed to eliminate the lisp.
The Slushy /s/ Zapper pack includes:
For people working with children with lisps, this program makes an excellent companion to our popular Pesky Lisp Fixer, which targets interdental lisps. You can read our Frequently Asked Questions about lisps here.