How to Overcome a Lisp

Written by kimberly caines Google
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How to Overcome a Lisp
Thumb-sucking can trigger lisping. (Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Lisping is a speech impediment that can occur at any age, but mostly happens during a child's speech development stage. If you speak with a lisp, you pronounce the "s" sound as a "th" sound because your tongue protrudes in between your teeth. If a child has a lisp, he can get teased in school and develop a fear of speaking. This can result in aggression and low self-esteem. Therapy and oral muscle-strengthening exercises can help eliminate a lisp.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Bring your child to a speech-language pathologist for an evaluation. A speech-language pathologist can determine whether your child can outgrow her lisp naturally, which is often the case in children under the age of 6. Seek early treatment because if the lisp isn't treated, it can stay with your child into adulthood. A therapist can teach your child how to properly use her tongue. She will practice proper pronunciation through exercises; sounds, words, syllables, phrases, sentences and eventually conversations are practised.

  2. 2

    Avoid telling your child that his lisp is cute and refrain from using baby talk when speaking to him. Speak in proper English and set the right example for your child.

  3. 3

    Have your child do exercises to strengthen the muscles of her mouth. Encourage her to drink through a straw, which requires her to hold her tongue in her mouth. Have your child blow bubbles or let her blow a horn to strengthen her cheek and lip muscles.

  4. 4

    Distract your child with comforting activities, such as games and puzzles, if he wants to such his thumb. Thumb-sucking can cause lisping because it allows the tongue to lay flat in the mouth. This weakens the tongue muscles and doesn't allow your child to control the motions of his tongue.

  5. 5

    Look in the mirror with your child and make a proper "s" sound. Show her how you keep your teeth together and your tongue in your mouth. Have her copy you. Avoid scolding her if she doesn't do it correctly because this only adds to her insecurities.

  6. 6

    Treat any sinus issue your child might have. Colds, allergies and a stuffy nose can trigger open-mouth breathing with a lazy, protruding tongue, which makes lisping worse.

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