Lisp Speech Therapy: Tongue Placement Exercises to Help Reduce a Lisp

Have you ever had a conversation with someone who lisps? Perhaps you have had a conversation with a person with a frontal or lateral lisp. A lisp is described as excess air that escapes through the front of the mouth when a person makes certain speech sounds. This may remind you of certain cartoon characters. Front and side lisps can be frustrating for both the listener and the speaker due to the adverse effect they can have on the conversations or messages the speaker is trying to convey.

Speakers with a lisp may have had speech therapy to correct the lisp when they were of school age. However, it may not have been much of a concern as children to correct their speech pattern. As a child, therefore, he did not practice the therapy techniques given to him by his school’s speech-language pathologist.

Now, as adults, they have experienced the restrictions that a frontal or lateral lisp can have on their communication performance. Having a lisp can prevent you from landing your dream job, such as a public speaker, commentator, receptionist, and other careers that require talking to a large number of people. Lisp can even be a dating impediment. As you can see, a lisp can have a negative impact on your overall communication performance.

You may have developed a lisp due to misalignment of your tongue or teeth. Whatever the cause, you have developed and continued a habit that has a negative impact on your speaking skills. So how do you correct this negative habit? You can look up your old notes and techniques provided by your school’s speech-language pathologist many years ago. Or you can see a speech-language pathologist to discuss your communication difficulty and how it has prevented you from getting certain jobs. Your speech-language pathologist may recommend a speech evaluation to determine the cause of your communication problem. Speech habits can be changed if you work diligently to achieve specific speech goals.

Self-development: “a personal and professional investment”.

Investing in your human communication skills can help you decrease your lisp and maximize opportunities.

Here are 6 steps that can help you reduce your lisp:

1. When your tongue is in the resting position, it should be behind the upper front teeth or the lower front teeth. Your tongue should never rest between your teeth. The only time your tongue should stick out between your teeth is when you are producing words with the / th / sound, such as “think” and “thank you.”

2. In the resting position, your mouth should be closed and your tongue behind your teeth or hard palate, unless you have some kind of medical condition.

3. Use a straw as much as possible to drink your beverages, however drinking from a straw can cause gas. Using a straw can help with motor movement and muscle memory. When using a straw, your tongue should not stick out forward.

4. Practice lifting a cheerio with the tip of your tongue and placing the cheerio on your hard palate (the top of your mouth behind your teeth), holding it until it dissolves. This exercise is a muscle memory exercise.

5. Practice holding your tongue when speaking at all times, but not with the / th / sounds. The / th / sound is the only sound in American English that the tongue comes between the teeth.

6. When making the / s / sound at the beginning and end of words, practice clenching your upper and lower teeth so that your tongue does not protrude between the teeth. Remember, the only time your tongue should come between your teeth is when you are making the / th / sound.

These exercises can reduce your lisp to a minimum, thereby reducing “noise pollution” so that you can effectively convey your thought or message.

For more information on this matter, contact a speech-language pathologist to discuss the best strategies to solve your problem.

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