How to Get Rid of a Lisp
According 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.
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.