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Yes, you can. "Lisping" is a lay term that describes the way a child mispronounces words. Typically it refers to the s sound being produced like a th sound. So a sentence such as "My sister is 7" sounds like "My thithter ith theven." While the s sound is normally produced with the tongue behind the top teeth, a child who lisps pushes the tongue out.
If your child's s sounds this way, don't worry. This happens with many children, and most will outgrow it by age 7 with no intervention at all. Pointing out that she's lisping won't help her stop and may harm her self-esteem. And though you won't always be able to protect her from teasing, there are a few things you can do to help your little one combat her lisp:
• Treat any allergy, cold, or sinus problems so your child can breathe with her lips together and through her nose. An open-mouth breathing posture causes the tongue to lie flat and protrude. Work on nose blowing, too, as a stuffy nose is often the culprit.
• Keep your child's fingers out of her mouth as much as possible, since thumb-sucking can contribute to a lisp. It's not an easy task to help your child quit sucking her thumb, though. Target the times she's most likely to suck her thumb, such as when she's watching TV or riding in the car, and substitute another comforting activity, such as playing with a favorite toy or puzzle.
• Pop a straw in her drinks; since you're using your lips instead of putting pressure on your teeth, this kind of sucking motion promotes good oral-motor strength, which is important in language development.
• Take your child to the dentist if one of her baby teeth is accidentally knocked out, and have it replaced with a fake tooth. That will stop your child's tongue from poking through the gap where her tooth should be — a habit that can hinder her language development and one that's hard to correct after her adult teeth come in around age 7.
• Encourage play activities that improve oral-motor strength. Have your child blow into a party horn with a small round mouthpiece. This is a good exercise because the effort needed to make a solid sound also strengthens the lips and cheek muscles, and tends to push the tongue back in. Blowing bubbles is another option.
• Have your child look in a mirror and practice putting her teeth together while she makes an s sound. This exercise can help her remember to keep her tongue behind her teeth. But if she gets frustrated or upset practicing this routine then let it go — you don't want to make her self-conscious about something she'll probably outgrow on her own.