Saying hard words is never easy, but it can be especially difficult when you have a speech disability. A lisp is a common speech disability that can make it difficult to pronounce certain sounds. If you have a lisp, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to work around your speech disability and still communicate effectively with others. In this blog post, we will discuss some strategies that you can use to overcome your lisp and say hard words with ease!
- What is a lisp, and how do you know if you have one?
- Common causes of lisps
- Hard words to say with a lisp
- How to correct a lisp
- When is the best time to seek help for a lisp?
- How speech therapy can help correct a lisp
What is a lisp, and how do you know if you have one?
What is a lisp? A lisp is a speech disorder that can make it difficult to say certain words. This disorder can make it difficult to produce the /s/ and /z/ sounds. A lisp is a very common sort of speech impediment.
It does not matter if you find the English language difficult or the Spanish language is harder. But the way you pronounce a difficult word, whether it’s from a native or foreign language, is what involves a lisp. If you are not sure if you have a lisp, there are a few ways that you can check. One way is to say the word “seesaw”. You will most likely say “seesaw” as “seesaow” if you have a lisp. Another way to check is to say the word “lizard”. If you have a lisp, you will most likely say “lizard” as “lidger”. If you think you may have a lisp, it is important to speak with your doctor.
Common causes of lisps
Common causes of this functional speech disorder can include:
- Genetics: Some people may be born with a lisp because they inherit it from their parents. Some of these difficulties, such as tongue-tie, are visible from birth.
- Neurological problems: Some people may develop a lisp due to a neurological problem, such as a stroke.
- Mouth and teeth problems: Some people may develop a lisp if they have problems with their mouth or teeth, such as a misaligned jaw. Or they may either have a tongue tie or tongue thrust. Tongue-tie is a condition where the tongue is firmly connected to the floor of the mouth and movement is restricted. Tongue thrust is when the tongue protrudes between the front teeth.
- Speech disorders: Some people may develop a lisp if they have another speech disorder or learn to pronounce sounds incorrectly.
What Are the Types of Lisps?
There are four professional categories of lisps, as the Speech-Language Pathology Graduate Programs outlines.
A frontal lisp is the most common and occurs when individuals push their tongues too far forward.
A lateral lisp happens if air moves over the sides of the tongue when speaking, resulting in a slurred sound.
People with palatal lisps touch their tongue to the roof of their mouth while saying certain sounds.
Dental lisps are easily confused with frontal lisps, but these occur with the wrong mouth position; the individual pushes their tongue against the teeth — not through them.
Hard words to say with a lisp
If you have a lisp, it can be difficult to say certain words. Some of the hardest words to say with a lisp include “th” sounds (as in “think”), “s” sounds (as in “see”), and “z” sounds (as in “zoo”). Many people think that a lisp is usually only found in kids before the age of five. By the time they attend school, many would think they wouldn’t have lisp anymore and go on with their everyday lives. But honestly, it can still be present in adults who did not take this speech impediment seriously and did not seek help. If you have difficulty in pronouncing the word with s, z, and th, please consider that you have a lisp.
Here are some hard words to say with a lisp:
- sixth sense
This is just a shortlist of problematic word lisp, and there sure are plenty more speech sound errors that you may find as you continue reading words.
How to correct a lisp
If you have a lisp, there are a few things that you can do to help correct it.
Practice on your own.
One thing is to practice saying the words that are difficult for you. Another thing is to make sure that you are using the right muscles when you speak. You can do this by practicing your speech in front of a mirror.
Seek out a Speech pathologist
They are specialists who can help children with lisps. They will evaluate what type of lisp your child has and then help them with it over a period of time. It can take a few months to a few years to get rid of a lisp. If a child is older when working with a speech-language pathologist, it may take longer.
Frenotomy or frenulopasty
If your child’s lisp is from a tongue-tie, a doctor may recommend a simple in-office procedure called a frenotomy to reduce the tethering. They take a pair of scissors and snip the excess tissue holding the tongue down. If the tongue-tie is more severe, they might require a surgery called frenuloplasty.
There are a few strategies that you can use to work around your lisp. One strategy is to substitute other words for the words you have difficulty saying. For example, if you have a lisp and you want to say the word “six”, you can say “sick” or”sixth”.
Another strategy is to mime the words that you are trying to say. This can help you get the pronunciation correct. You can also try speaking more slowly and enunciating each word clearly.
When is the best time to seek help for a lisp?
If you are having difficulty pronouncing certain words, it is best to seek help as soon as possible. The earlier you seek help, the easier it will be to correct the lisp. If you wait too long, the speech muscles may become harder to retrain.
How speech therapy can help correct a lisp
If you have a lisp, speech therapy can help correct it. Speech therapists will evaluate your lisp and give you exercises to help improve your pronunciation. It may take time and effort, but you can overcome your lisp with patience and practice.
Speech pathologists work with people who have lisps to help them recognize what their lisp sounds like and how to position their tongue in the correct place to make the sound. They do this by giving them exercises, like saying specific words or phrases with the sounds in them. Once your child has been working on their lisp for a while, your speech pathologist will engage them in conversation to challenge them to remember proper tongue placement.
Lisps are just one type of speech impediment. There are still others who have difficulty saying short or long words with R, L, D, K, and many more. Now that you know some of the mispronounced words that you need to work on, you can either practice on your own or find professional help to help you pronounce words correctly.