Lisp Speech Therapy
A common lisp occurs when someone makes a “th” sound when they are actually trying to make the “s” or “z” sounds. Lisps happen when the tongue is placed incorrectly in the mouth when speaking. The tongue can touch, push against, or stick out between the teeth.
When children are young and language and speech skills are still developing, there are certain mistakes that they make when they talk which parents can expect to be typical as their child develops. These are common.
A lisp is a speech disorder that is common and very noticeable in young children as they develop. Children (and even adults) have a difficult time producing the “s” or the “z” consonant sounds, even though these are the most common sounds that people with a lisp produce incorrectly.
When young children have a lisp people often think it’s cute or sounds like something normal for a young toddler or preschooler. This may be true during these young toddler years and often theses lisps are temporary and may resolve on their own over time. Yes as a child gets older and approaches elementary school age, a lisp is not so cute any more.
At this age parents are usually wondering:
- Will my child outgrow a lisp?
- Will the lisp affect my child’s self-esteem or confidence?
- Will the lisp continue as an adult?
- Will lisp speech therapy help?
What is a Lisp?
The most common type of a lisp is when a child makes the “th” sound if they try to say an “s” or “z” sound.
Your child might try to say “sing” but instead it sounds like “thing.”
A parent can see that their child is speaking with a lisp because of the incorrect placement of the child’s tongue inside their mouth during when they are speaking. If the child is lisping, the tongue is touching or pushing on their teeth. They also stick out or protrude between the child’s teeth.
There are several types of lisps including palatal, lateral, dentalized, and interdental. Here we will focus on the most common lisp- the interdental lisp, as well as the lateral lisp as another common yet non-developmental lisp.
Interdental Lisp: Speech therapists may also call these frontal lisps. This happens when the tongue pushes forward or sticks out between the front teeth.
These lisps are considered developmental and a child may outgrow them on their own. Yet we have seen many older teens as well as young adults in their twenties with a frontal lisp that did not correct independently.
Kids may start to develop a lisp around age 2 as speech skills increase. Many children have this type of lisp until around age 5.
Parents should consider consulting with a speech therapist if a child has not outgrow their lisp by school age on their own.
Lateral Lisp: This type of lisp occurs when if a child’s tongue looks to be in a normal position yet the flow of air is released from the sides of the mouth instead of from the front. The sound may be “slushy” or wet sounding because air and saliva are mixing some the sound is produced.
The lateral lisp is not developmental meaning it is not part of normal speech development like other lisps and does not usually resolve on its own.
A child will need speech therapy as soon as possible to help remediate this type of lisp. Parents should consult with a speech therapist to diagnose and treat the child for a lateral lisp since helping a child at home without the supervision of a professional may not yells results.
Can a Lisp Affect a Person’s Life?
That is a very personal question and often depends an the personality of the child or adult with a lisp.
While lisping does may not have an effect on a person’s intelligibility, there are potential social or emotional consequences as a person with a lisp gets older.
Children’s self esteem, social anxiety, communication confidence and desire to socialize my all be affected if they have a lisp. They may even be teased.
We’ve often seen children in intermediate school as their parents for speech therapy to help with their lisp. They don’t want to stand out because their speech sounds different.
As adults, frustration or embarrassment at work may increase. Especially since as adults we often feel that we should be able to fix our speech independently.
What Causes a Lisp?
We don’t often know why a child has a lisp, especially a frontal or interdental lisp, but sometimes there is a known cause such as:
- Incorrect jaw alignment
- A tongue ties
- A tongue thrust (tongue protrudes between a person’s teeth)
How do Speech Therapists Diagnose and Treat a Lisp?
To diagnose a lisp, a speech therapist will observe your child’s speech pattern, take a full speech history, and perform an oral exam.
Its important for the speech therapist who assesses your child’s speech to identify the type of lisp your child has, and create an inventory of which sounds they’re mispronouncing.
This will help create a specific treatment plan for your child to reach their communication goals.
A speech therapist will help:
- Make your child aware of where they’re their tongue is when they speak
- Work with your child to hear and recognize the difference between word pronounced correctly and those that are not (auditory discrimination tasks)
- Give them models to produce sounds they struggle with correctly
- Use the sounds correctly in words, sentences and then in everyday conversation when in therapy sessions and outside in their everyday life
How Long will Lisp Speech Therapy Take?
There are many factors that affect how long treatment is for any speech or language issue. Lisp speech therapy can vary but some factors that can affect the length of treatment include:
- Your child’s age
- Awareness of the sounds they are mispronouncing
- Can the child self correct when they are asked to
- How well does the child follow directions
- How often does the child practice at home
Do Lisps Affect Adults?
Yes. There are many adults that come for treatment to get rid of their lisp which never resolved on its own when they were a child.
It’s not too late to correct a lisp and adults often feel they want to do so as it may impact feelings of frustration, embarrassment, or low self-esteem. They want to feel more confident when speaking in their daily lives and at work.
Importantly, not all adults want to change their lisp. They feel it has become a part of their speech fingerprint or personality. We think that’s great.
Treatment for adults needing lisp therapy is similar to that for kids. Often, motivation is very high with adult who has a lisp so treatment can progress even faster than with a child. We encourage adults to have a few sessions with a speech therapist to learn the treatment strategies and then practice often at home.
What Can Parents Do at Home for Lisp Therapy?
We encourage your to practice at home since speech therapy once or twice a week with a speech language pathologist may not be enough. When parents are actively involved in their child’s speech progress, they can graduate for speech therapy even faster.
During online speech therapy sessions, your therapist will provide personalized recommendations, but here are some few tips and strategies you can practice at home to start working on getting rid of a lisp.
Model Correct Speech: speak slowly, clearly yet naturally. Get on your child’s level when they speak and observe how their mouth moves.
Look in a Mirror: Take your child to a mirror so they can see you and them practicing the pronunciation of the “s” and “z” sounds. Look at how your teeth are positioned and how your mouth moves when correctly saying these sounds, and ask your child to imitate the sounds you are making as well as the correct movements and placement of the parts of the mouth. This is a great way for kids to learn, especially for children that learn by watching (visual learners).
Butterfly Strategy: This is a strategy that speech therapists use often in speech sessions and you can practice at home with your child. Parents should try this first so that they can understand the strategy. Make an stretch out the litter “i” like in the words “bin” or “fin” and pay attention to how the sides of your tongue come up like the wings of a butterfly (visuals like animals or shapes help kids a lot). When you make the “s” or “z” sounds, your tongue should also be in a similar position. You can practice this technique and note that the goal of this exercise is to have your child’s tongue tip stay in their mouth (not stick out past the front teeth).
How Can Therapy Works Together help Treat Lisps?
We match children and adults with a certified and licensed speech therapist that is an expert in their specific speech or language needs. Speech therapy is provided online with face to face video conferences.
- Therapy is convenient because you can schedule it on your time.
- Sessions are affordable and privately paying may even be preferred to using insurance for speech therapy.
- Our speech therapists teach clients, parents and caregivers the speech strategies they need to make progress fast.
How Can Therapy Works Together Evaluate and Treat All Ages Online?
Therapy Works Together helps families connect online with a licensed and certified speech therapist that is a trained expert in diagnosing and treating a variety of speech, language and communication issues. Speech therapy is delivered online at home with video conferencing applications.
The age of our clients as well as their diagnosis and goals is important in determining how speech therapy online will be delivered.
Speech therapy for babies and toddlers: For kids age 0-3, we usually work on early communication skills like joint attention, social communication, or increasing language skills in late talking toddlers.
Parents work with their assigned speech language pathologist, usually in a parent coaching model, to learn tips and strategies that speech therapists use so they can be adept at practicing teaching their child after the session is over and at home. You can read more here about how important it is for parents to be involved in their child’s speech therapy at home.
Speech therapy for preschoolers: For kids age 3-6, speech therapists target age appropriate articulation, language delays, reading readiness and more. Parents join in for online video sessions with the child so that both learn the speech strategies and skills from the speech therapist. Learning how to use these skills after the session helps kids improve.
Speech therapy for school age kids: for children age 7 and up, speech therapists might work on academic skills, increasing vocabulary, social skills for kids with autism, stuttering and more. Children this age can come to online video sessions on their own. Our speech therapists keep parents informed by sharing tips and homework.
Speech therapy for adults: Adults attend speech therapy sessions online after becoming stroke patients, for stuttering, for accent modification and more. They come to sessions on their own from the comfort of their home or office. Often, they bring a caregiver or family members to learn strategies if they will need help communicating with others.
A team of certified speech therapists online who are experts in your needs.
Our licensed and certified speech therapists can help with speech or language issues for kids and adults, stuttering, social skills, articulation issues and more. With Therapy Works Together, you get the same high quality and expertise in online speech therapy as with face to face therapy, but with the convenience and affordability you want.
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|Therapy Works Together||Traditional & Other Online Services|
As high as $250/Session
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Usually 9-5, commute required
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Rescheduling may require a fee
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|Traditional & Other Online Services|
|More Affordable||$59/Session||Up to $250/Session up to|
|Licensed experts speech therapists|
|Convenient to attend|
|Scheduling is easy & flelxible|
|Communicate Easily Online with Yout Therapist Online|
|Hassle Free & Honest Billing|