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When does your child’s adorable lisp start to become something you should worry about?
Lisps are completely normal for children to develop during their pre-school ages, and they are oftentimes corrected on their own. But there are times when you may need to seek help from a speech correction therapist.
This guide will walk you everything a parent needs to know about lisps and when they should start child speech therapy in Everett.

Types Of Lisps

A lisp is a lisp, right? Not exactly. To many parents surprise, there are four different types of lisps that their child can have.
1. Interdental Lisp- An interdental lisp, also known as a frontal lisp, is when the tongue bulges out of the front teeth. This type of lisp can cause a /s/ and /z/ to sound like ‘th’.
2. Dentalised Lisp- This is where the tongue touches the front teeth and the airflow is directed forward to produce a stifled noise.
3. Lateral Lisp-  When air escapes through the sides of the tongue to create a “spitty” or “wet” lisp.
4. Palatal Lisp- When the tongue makes contact with the back part of the soft palate.
It’s important to recognize what type of lisp your child has so you can start practicing proper speech exercises dedicated to a specific lisp.

Should You Worry About Your Child’s Lisp?

Children often have a lisp until they are about 4 or 5 years old. Many times, these lisps are corrected on their own. But if your child’s lisp continues when they start kindergarten, then you should have their lisp investigated by a speech therapist– especially because lisps are a hard habit to break as children grow up.
If your child has a lisp, there are some early intervention exercises that you can do at home.
However, lateral and palatal are not characteristics of normal speech development. This means that aren’t typical for children to develop- even during pre-school.
So, if you notice that your child has one of these lisps, it’s important to seek help from a speech therapist early on and to have an SLP/SLT assessment conducted.

Lisp Exercises To Do At Home

Have your child drink through a straw. It might sound silly, but drinking out of a straw forces the tongue to pull back, which can help correct dentalised and interdental lisps. It also can promote strong oral-motor strength, which is beneficial to language.
Prevent your child from putting their fingers in their mouth. Unfortunately, thumb-sucking can lead to lisps, and breaking that habit can be rather difficult. You can attempt to break a thumb-sucking habit by providing your child with a comforting blanket or toy every time they suck their thumb.
Have your child look in the mirror while they practice putting their teeth together. Then have them practice making an s sound. This exercise will allow visual learners to remember exactly what it should look like when they are making their s sounds.

Child Speech Therapy In Everett

A child’s lisp can be quite adorable, especially when they first lose their two front teeth. But there comes a time when a lisp can develop into a functional speech disorder, and a child’s lisp tends to be difficult to break as they get older. So, if their lisp doesn’t go away, make sure to seek professional help.
Here at Clear Speech Incorporated, we focus on child speech therapy in Everett. And we believe that speaking is not just a medical event but an everyday event.  Contact us today for more information on how we can help your child.