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My finger sucking 2.7 ds can't pronounce F or S. Normal????

(12 Posts)
kelloo1 Sun 09-Oct-11 20:29:41

I've always worried that his finger sucking would effect his speech. I mentioned it at his 2 year check and was basically laughed at so don't really want to ask the HV for advice. Most of his speech doesn't make much sense to other people but i know what he is trying to say most of the time. He seems to have a problem with f's and s's. For example frog is rog, spiderman is biderman, fireman sam is ireman bam, biscuit is bit-tit (although when he first shouted this in the middle of tesco we thought he was saying something else) We read A LOT to him, it's the only activity he will actually sit and concentrate on. We always encourage him to say whats in the pictures and he's constantly telling us what things are when we go out. When i ask him to say f f f f he says w w w w. Is this normal speech for this age or has his finger sucking caused problems?

GrimmaTheNome Sun 09-Oct-11 20:41:06

Its pretty normal - don't know if its correlated with finger sucking or not.

My DD had favourite toy who I wanted to call Floppy dog. She pronounced it Doppy Dog. Which DH - because she couldn't pronounce S either assumed meand Soppy dog - which he is called to this day. She could pronounce both F and S before she started school (can't remember when exactly). I can remember saying Bork instead of Fork myself.

We helped DD with 'F' by getting her to make 'bunny teeth' (try it); and being a hissy snake for S

pozzled Sun 09-Oct-11 20:48:05

My DD is 3.2 and struggles with 's', she can pronounce it ok on it's own or in the middle of a word, but not when blended at the start. (So 'sister' is fine, but snake is 'nake', spoon is 'poon' and for some strange reason stone is 'gome'). She can say 'f' ok, but 'v' is not very clear.

I think it's normal for their speech to be a bit unclear at your DS' age, but worth getting it checked out if it is really hard for other people to understand. Is there another HV you could talk to? Does he go to nursery/playgroup at all? If so, I'd see what they think about it.

kelloo1 Sun 09-Oct-11 21:06:52

He goes to nursery 4 days a week and a lot of the kids there are older than him so I was always hopeful he would pick up on what they say. Most of the kids there though are either polish or russian and don't speak english so a lot of them are at the same level (or less) than my ds. The nursery people think his speech is improving (or so they tell me, they're not going to say he's rubbish) but I still worry when people look to me for translation when he speaks. He sometimes speaks whilst he's sucking his fingers so I don't know if he's just got used to pronouncing his words that way. I was advised by the HV not to discourage his finger sucking as it would make him do it more. Although lately i have been telling him to take his fingers out before he speaks.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 10-Oct-11 00:07:33

> Although lately i have been telling him to take his fingers out before he speaks.
well yes, that seems reasonable! I don't think you can do the 'bunny teeth' necessary for 'F' with a mouthful of fingers. And (says she, taking experimental fingers out of mouth) darned if I can do an S with them in there.

Just wondering if there's some cunning way you can help him practice sounds sans fingers - maybe find some songs with the right sounds and you both clap along and sing along?

phlossie Mon 10-Oct-11 10:00:22

ooh - my DS couldn't do F or S until he was about 3 1/2, maybe even 4 yo. My mum is special educational needs teacher, and got her Speech and Language colleague to see him, and she was really dramatic and said it was problematic. We then got referred to NHS SLT, but they said he's been over-diagnosed and it was fine.

He is now 5 1/2 and top of his class for reading - he is on the level expected of year 3 children (he's year 1). In Reception he got phonics and sounds really quickly - it's amazing, but his early speech problems haven't held him back at all.

Don't push him to correct his pronunciation. Keep talking with him and reading with him. If you're still worried at 3, ask his HV to refer him to a speech and language therapist.

As for the finger sucking, he's still little, but start to work on stopping him from doing it all the time. Apart from the buck teeth problem, finger/thumb suckers can also have the problem my friend's DD had and that's.... WORMS! Eugh!

NellyTheElephant Mon 10-Oct-11 12:22:02

I have no idea whether it is related to the finger sucking. Both my DDs had a lot of trouble with various consonants. DD1 grew out of it by the time she was around 3. It's taken a bit longer with DD2 who seemed to be missing most of her consonants. For ages she couldn't say S. A very happy little girl, always singing - I still miss her saying 'listen Mummy, I'm dinging a dong' which used to make me smile every time. A fish was a 'wish' (the F / W thing is very common) and lots of other funny little words. She's basically there now at 4 and a half, but still can't do 'th' and uses a 'd' instead. Hopefully she'll get there soon, if not I might eventually refer to some sort of speech therapy (I also had quite a lot of trouble when I was small and started speech and drama lessons when I was about 8 which finally helped me to get rid of my lisp). School has never considered that she has any problem. They say she is an extremely articulate girl (i.e. her speech has been unaffected by any slight ponunciation errors)

kelloo1 Mon 10-Oct-11 14:53:12

Thanks everyone, it's really reassuring to read your replies. As for the finger sucking he only tends to do it when he is tired or relaxing so when we do the bedtime story he's trying to say the words with a mouthful of fingers! We do try to discourage it as he has hard fingers now where he sucks them. When he does say words incorrectly we just repeat the right word back to him 'mummy a rog' 'oh yes ds, it's a frog'.

MonkeysPunk Tue 11-Oct-11 21:06:02

Get him to practice saying "T" "S" "T " "S" repeatedly. Then to recite "Six fat sausages sizzling in a pan" carefully. Just short sessions regularly and see if this helps. It's what my mum was advised for me by a speech therapist when I was small. (i had a lisp, and was a thumb sucker!) It really helped me. Give lots of praise when he gets it right.
Repeating the T and S first helps get the tongue and mouth shape right for saying S. Sorry I don't know the exercises for F, but at least you can help with S for now.

MonkeysPunk Tue 11-Oct-11 21:08:36

To clarify T as in Tuh not Tea, and S as in Suh not Ess. Tuh Suh Tuh Suh.

Zakinthos Tue 11-Oct-11 21:51:43

It is absolutely normal for a 2 year old not to be able to say s and f sounds in words. And I wouldn't ask your 2 year old to say the 's' Tongue twister as this would be too hard for him. monkeys - the exercises you had to do were for a lisp, not for a child who substitutes 'b' for 's'. kelloo - I wouldn't worry about it for now but if he is still having problems in 6 months time, you could ask your hv to refer him to a salt for advice. In the meantime, just model the correct pronunciation emphasising the s and f sounds slightly at the start of words but don't put any pressure on your ds to say the words. If he says 'bock' for 'sock' say 'yes, it's a sssssock', making the s sound a bit longer.

Notchattingnow Tue 11-Oct-11 22:18:30

my 2 yr old ds many yrs ago said "tokit kik kik " for chocolate biscuit
and geen cisps for salt and vinegar crispa
totally irrelevant but sooo cute
smile

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