What is a lisp?
A lisp is when someone pronounces a sound different from the standard sound and pronunciation. For example, some sounds that are affected by lisps are the “s,” “z,” “ch,” and “j” sounds.
There is an estimated 23 percent of people being affected by lisps at some point during their lifetime, so needless to say, they are extremely common.
Some side effects of this speech impediments are decreased self-esteem and self-confidence. If you are either a child or an adult, this can lead to individual frustrations and peer bullying. It is essential to have social support because speech impediments can also cause avoidance of social situations.
Types of Lisps
There are four common lisps, that you may have heard of:
This occurs when the tongue pokes out between the front teeth. This results in making the “s” and “z” sound like a “th”. For example, words like “pass” and “sleep” may be pronounced as “path” and “theep”.
This occurs when the tongue lies flatter or too far back in the mouth. This results in the "s" and "z" not to sound like hissing, but rather it sounds like more of a slushy noise.
This occurs from the tongue pushing against the front teeth. This results in difficulty with producing the “s” and “z” sounds.
This occurs when the tongue touches the roof of the mouth. This results in difficulty making the “s” and “z” sounds and sometimes "r" sounds.
How Can a Speech Therapist Help?
A speech therapist should be contacted when a child's lisp goes beyond elementary school. The earlier you receive treatment, the faster is it a speech impediment can be corrected. But, remember it is never too late to see a speech therapist or correct your lisp.
Some methods that they use to help you reduce your lips are:
- Make you aware of lisps.
- Focus on your tongue placement.
- Assessment of your words and phrases.
- Working and practicing blended sounds.
A lisp can improve to over 90% accuracy in regular conversation in as little as three months of weekly therapy (with daily practice).
Correction for Lisps at Home
Although you should seek help from a speech therapist to correct your lisp, there are some techniques that you can do at home to help your lisp. Here are just a few:
- Treating any existing allergy or sinus problems so you can breathe
- Helping your child avoid thumb-sucking because it can lead to the development of lisps
- Using a straw in your drinks because the sucking motion promotes good oral-motor strength
- Look in a mirror and practice putting your teeth together while making an “s” sound
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about what a speech therapist can do for you, visit our website.