Lisp is a speech disorder that results in unclear speech. People having this disorder cannot pronounce some word properly. For examples, some people with lisp cannot sound s, z, y, and I correctly, and they pronounce word with such sound in an odd way. If you do not take measures to correct your speech disorder and continue to use the words in the wrong way, incorrect pronunciation becomes a habit.
Lisp can draw unwanted attention to your speech. Some people may find it difficult to understand what you say. And at times it can be visually distracting if your tongue moves beyond your front teeth. It becomes harder to treat if it is not treated early.
The main reason for lisping is that tongue protrudes or touches the front teeth affecting the speech. When the tongue does not place in the right place to produce the desired sound, it makes an awkward sound. Swelling of tongue and dental appliances too can cause temporary lisp in people.
There are four types of lisp:
Interdental: It is caused by tongue protruding between the front teeth. People with this disorder produces‘s’ or ‘z’ sound when they pronounce ‘th’. Young children who are developing speech experience it until they reach the age of four, but it disappears when they grow old.
Dentalizsed: It is a result of the tongue touching the front teeth causing the air to flow over the side of the tongue creating an unusual sound.
Lateral lisp: It occurs when the air is going over the side the of the tongue.
Palate lisp: It happen when the mid- section of the tongue come in contact with the soft palat.
Some people who experience speech defect do not bother to correct it and they are willing to continue with it. Some consider it as normal. However, if people ridicule you, or point out the way you pronounce some word, you may want to seek treatment. You can correct lisping irrespective of your age.
The traditional treatment for lisp is to isolate the incorrectly pronounced sound and correct it. Someone should identify the word you pronounce incorrectly. The incorrect sound may occur in the beginning, middle, or end of the letter you pronouce. Procedure of identifying the error is known as targeting. Once you identify the lisp in you, you can slowly learn to correctly sound the words that are pronounced incorrectly. You may have to pay close attention to how you place your tongue.
You can correct your lisp by speaking slowly and being conscious of what we have to say. This helps you to place your tongue in the mouth in a proper way, which is different from the normal way you used to place your tongue. When you are excited, lisping becomes prominent. Then you must pause and calm down before you continue your speech. Slow speech helps you to sound the word correctly.
The other method is to insert a device into the mouth of the person who is suffering from speech defects. The tongue must be placed on the device when making specific sounds. This method is considered faster than the traditional treatment. Nevertheless, you must do this with advice from doctors.
However, if you have a serious problem with lisp and it affect you daily work, you must visit a speech therapist.