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How to Get Rid of a Lisp

womans lipsAccording to speech pathologists, “lisp” describes how a child, or adult, mispronounces words, by way of tongue position. Typically, it refers to “s,” or”z” sounds, produced as “th.” The sound of “s” is ordinarily produced with the tongue behind the top teeth. Lisping occurs when the tongue is pushed out.

Types of Lisps

There are several different types of lists that one can have. Most are characterized by the cause behind the lisp – whether as a result of damage to the body or a natural birth defect. Below are the different types of lisps:

  • Interdental Lisps are most common. They are caused by placement of the tongue beyond the frontal dental ridge. Typically, this is found in the case of missing front teeth.
  • Lateral Lisps are not found in typical speech development. The tongue position, expanded laterally, for this, is close to the position for “l.” Due to its watery sound, this lisp is called “slushy.”
  • Palatal Lisps are also outside typical speech development. In these, the mid-section of the tongue touches back on the soft palate.

Tools for Getting Rid of a Lisp – Ignore It!

Some experts advise “Don’t worry!” According to these professionals, many children lisp, and most will outgrow it, without intervention. Pointing out lisping won’t help the child stop; hence they aspire to protect the child from embarrassment. So as crazy as it seems, simply ignoring a lisp can actually help it go away. This is more true in cases where the lisp is more of a “tick” or slight speech impediment rather than a result of trauma to the mouth region.

Breath Method

Experts of this philosophy recommend helping the person with the lisp breathe comfortably through the nose. An open-mouth breathing posture causes the tongue to protrude. Hence, care-givers should address allergy, cold, or sinus problems so the person can breathe with lips together. Teaching improved nose-blowing techniques is also recommended.

Stopping Oral Behavior

Some lisp-busters are confrontational. Hence they strive to keep children’s fingers out of their mouths, since thumb-sucking contributes to the development of lisp. It’s not easy to get a child to quit thumb-sucking, but persistent trainers reduce the time. Hence therapists target times when the child is likely to suck the thumb, such as TV, or in the car. Additionally, use of a cup without a “sippy” encourages advanced mouth skills. Comforting activities, with favorite toys, substitute for mouth gratifications in this treatment. This treatment is not for adults.

Traditional Articulation Therapy

Targeted at an Interdental type of lisp, traditional articulation therapy encourages the subject to hear the difference between “s” and ‘th.” This involves auditory bombardment. Word lists and comparisons are used as part of this type of therapy. Tactile, auditory, and motor cues help teach clients to make the improved sound. Essentially, this therapy is forcing the person with the lisp to practice more and faster in order to jolt their system into learning the proper way to speak without a lisp.

6 Comments

  1. I agree that kids need a toy or something comforting to help them stop thumb sucking. You should try “Thumbuddy To Love”. It is a positive teaching tool and kids love it! You can get it on their web site or on Amazon.

  2. I used to have an extra tooth at the roof of my mouth then i got it pulled. But, i still have this small lisp with s,c and x. Any creative ideas of how to get rid of it thanks!

  3. hello i have a lisp too and i also have a bristolian accent. can anyone give me any advice to get rid of either of them… please you would be a life saver!?

  4. I have lisp with the words s,x and c and I’m 15 years old would I eventually lose it when I get older or do I need to see a speech therapist about it (please get back to me as soon as possible it really effects me thanks)

  5. I have a lisp with s, c, x and z. Im in my teens and have lived with it my whole life and you cant be suprised when i say that i hate it… I have had braces for over a year and now i have just had a plate put in with some screws in my gums… Yes it does suck and i wish that i havent needed to waste every year of my life since i was eight going to the dentist… Anyway the only way to get rid of it as i have been told is to be patient and wait till the treatment with the braces and if that dosent work i will then go into sugery… but i would love to know if at some point in my life i dont have to worry about talking to people or doing a speech and if it will ever go away because as far as i know the only thing the plate and braces will do for me is fix my jaw but leave me still with a lisp…

  6. Having a lisp is the worst when In teen years.I’m 13 living with a lisp. It’s hard to get made fun of from friends or be told to repeat a word. I try to act positive on repeating words to act like a funny guy. But I know when it’s being funny or being insulted. And I can’t afford any of therapist. The smile method confuses me and I think my tongue is the problem because I think it is abnormally large.(I think) please give some reccomendasions

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