Home > Common Disorders > Lisps

Lisps

Author: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 25 August 2015 | commentsComment
 
Speech speech Difficulty speech

Lisps are speech disorders in which individuals are unable to produce a specific speech sound (or sounds). Many children lisp naturally as they learn to speak and produce specific sounds and it is common for children to grow out of a slight lisp. After about five years of age, however, lisping is no longer considered “normal” and should be investigated by a speech professional if it is keeping a child from communicating clearly or causing the child distress.

Types of Lisps

There are four main types of lisps. Interdental lisps occur when individuals put their tongues between their teeth when attempting to make an “s” or “z” sound but instead push air outwards and create a “th” sound. This is often considered the most common type of lisp. Dentalised lisps occur when individuals put their tongues against their front teeth and push air outwards, result in a kind of muffled pronunciation of certain sounds. Lateral lisps occur when individuals put their tongues to the roof of their mouths and push air outwards, making a “slushy” sound. Finally, palatal lisps occur when individuals allow the mid-section of their tongues to touch the soft palate of their mouths. A “hy” sound tends to result.

Investigating Lisps

Some lisps, interdental and dentalised lisps, do naturally occur in younger children. Any child exhibiting these types of lisps should be allowed to progress as normal until about their fourth or fifth birthday. If, after this time, the lisp still occurs then an investigation by a trained speech therapist or pathologist should be sought. Lateral lisps and palatal lisps are not naturally occurring in child speech development and should be investigated when first recognised.

Assessing Lisps

Lisp assessments are generally carried out by speech and language therapists, speech therapists or speech pathologists. During an assessment the individual’s mouth may be examined (to see if there is a physiological reason that sounds can not be made) and the individual’s language and speech abilities will be observed and investigated. It may be that children who have trouble producing certain sounds actually have another speech disorder that may be diagnosed at this time.

Treating Lisps

Treating lisps in children usually involves short-term speech therapy and is generally successful. Speech therapy sessions include a wide variety of activities and speech drills, though what specifically happens in any given session will depend upon many variables. The length of the therapy session (usually between a half hour and one hour), the location of the therapy session (whether at home, school or a private facility), the age of the child involved, whether the therapy session is private or involves a group, and the type of lisp that is being treated will all affect the content of these sessions.

During these sessions the child will be taught the isolated sound that he or she is having trouble with. When this sound is mastered, the child will then learn to say the sound in syllables, then words, then phrases and then sentences. When a child is able to speak a whole sentence without lisping, attention is then focused on making correct sounds throughout natural conversation. Towards then end of the course of therapy, the child will be taught how to monitor his or her own speech, and how to correct as necessary.

Further Information on Lisps

Many different organisations exist to support individuals with speech disorders in the United Kingdom. Talking Point (www.talkingpoint.org.uk) is just one of the organisations that should be able to provide further information on lisping. Medical professionals and speech therapists will also likely to provide further information and advice on lisps.

You might also like...
Leave a Comment, Ask for Advice or Share Your Story...
[Add a Comment]
Cress - Your Question:
I've had lisping disorder since I was a child. I soon will go to college and would like to speak clearly and confidently and would like to have a good self-esteem, so can anyone please tell me a way my lisping disorder can go away as it is very nerve-racking.

Our Response:
You could make an appointment with your GP and see if he/she can offer some speech disorder therapy, especially if you stress if may affect your confidence. However, your lisp is part of you and others will find it as endearing as other facets of your personality, just as you find aspects of others' personalities endearing to you. I should continue with who you are with confidence, there is no more an atteractive quality in a person than being happy with yourself.
SpeechDisorder - 25-Aug-15 @ 12:54 PM
I've had lisping disorder since I was a child. I soon will go to college and would like to speak clearly and confidently and would like to have a good self-esteem, so can anyone please tell me a way my lisping disorder can go away as it is very nerve-racking.
Cress - 24-Aug-15 @ 6:42 PM
this is good info cos a lot of my matez have lisps and everyone keepstalking about them and I didn't know what they were!
nikki - 10-Jul-15 @ 8:02 PM
@Oak - I'm glad you feel comfortable with yourself, it's only when we are young that we feel these things as we want to fit in. As we get older we want to be individual and things like a lisp can be very distinguishing. So good on you!
Sam - 30-Jan-15 @ 12:32 PM
I have the hugest lisp ever, it's been that way since ever. I used to hate it and for the longest time I wanted to get rid of it, but not anymore. I feel it's apart of me, I know it sounds stupid. It makes me sound more distinguishable and it really makes me feel like me
Oak - 29-Jan-15 @ 1:04 PM
I have been stammering since childhood.now I am in studying in collage.in this period I tried very much to speak properly without stammering, but I can't, till now.a some kind of fear comes in my mind that I con't speak properly and this leads me to stagger me at the time when I am approaching a unknown person or respected teacher.so ples tell me what should I do?
suroj - 14-Jun-12 @ 2:06 PM
Leave a Comment, Ask for Advice or Share Your Story...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Our Quick Links
Latest Comments
  • robinsonjune30
    Re: What is Speech Therapy?
    We just found out that my daughter needs to attend speech therapy, and that left us with lots of questions. I really appreciate this post…
    28 August 2015
  • SpeechDisorder
    Re: Lisps
    Cress - Your Question:I've had lisping disorder since I was a child. I soon will go to college and would like to speak clearly and confidently and woul
    25 August 2015
  • Cress
    Re: Lisps
    I've had lisping disorder since I was a child. I soon will go to college and would like to speak clearly and confidently and would like to have a good…
    24 August 2015
  • Barry
    Re: Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders
    I have severe sleep apnoea & would like to see a myofunctional specialist ..... I live in Chichester, West Sussex..... can…
    22 July 2015
  • SpeechDisorder
    Re: Neurological Disorders
    @Jones75 - have you paid a visit to your GP? If you haven't it may be worth your while given this is a new development and you have no…
    15 July 2015
  • Jones75
    Re: Neurological Disorders
    I am 40 and have recently started having difficulty stammering at the start of words, repeating words and also getting words mixed up.…
    13 July 2015
  • nikki
    Re: Lisps
    this is good info cos a lot of my matez have lisps and everyone keepstalking about them and I didn't know what they were!
    10 July 2015
  • SpeechDisorder
    Re: Cluttering
    @Clarity must be blis - I'm sorry to hear that your disorder makes you miserable. I have included a link to the British Stemmering Association
    10 July 2015
  • Clarity must be blis
    Re: Cluttering
    I have suffered from garbled, inconsistent speech my entire life. A couple of years ago I went to see a specialist, who diagnosed me as a clutterer. The…
    9 July 2015
  • SpeechDisorder
    Re: Neurological Disorders
    @evets - we couldn't possibly advise without knowing what was causing the problem. However, if she hasn't yet seen her GP, she should make…
    2 June 2015
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the SpeechDisorder website. Please read our Disclaimer.