Odd Speech Development in 3 Year Old

by Rachel C.

I know that at three, I shouldn't worry too much about my son's speech development, given that he really has only shown one problem...but it is a sufficiently odd problem to make me want to seek some advice.

He struggles to pronounce 's', but not by lisping it with a 'th', but rather he replaces it with a sound we do not use in the English language. It is a nasal 's' that sounds like a complex blend of 'h' and 'n'.

The word 'sausages' is beyond peculiar when he says it; it comes out a bit like 'hnohnedges'.

We have largely let it go uncorrected, because the few times we have pressed him over it, he has become quite shy, and the very last thing I want to do is put him off trying.

However, we do once in a while talk about the sound, and talk about 's', 'snakes', hissing and where his tongue should be when he makes the sound, but he just cannot seem to do it without his nose.

I pinched it once to show him and he just couldn't seem to make a sound at all- he just looked at me blankly.

Have you any experience with this particular confusion, or any thoughts on how we should respond?

Many thanks,

Rachel Collins

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