Care Speech Pathology

Lateral Lisp

When learning to talk, most children simplify the sounds in words, making them easier to say. Sometimes this type of speech pattern becomes automatic, and a child has an inability to produce a specific speech sound correctly.

Understanding speech errors can help parents to better understand typical speech developmental milestones. Speech Pathologists in Australia are specially trained to help parents with this knowledge and improve the speech development of children who have not reached typical developmental milestones.

At Care Speech Pathology, we know how to help.

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what is Lateral Lisp?

What is a Lateral Lisp?

When speaking, our tongue, mouth, lips and teeth are used in many different ways to produce the correct sound. A “lateral lisp” is the term used when air escapes over the sides of the tongue and into the cheeks, rather than straight down the middle, creating a wet or slushy sound. This can occur on several sounds such as ‘s’, ‘z’, ‘sh’, ‘ch’, ‘zh’ and ‘j’.

A lateral lisp is not generally considered a normal part of speech development. Research shows that individuals with a lateral lisp may not be able to self-correct on their own and therefore therapy should be sought as early as possible.

How can we help kids with a Lateral Lisp?

Speech Pathologists have extensive training and knowledge about phonological processes. There are a number of intervention strategies that we can use to reduce lateral lisps in a child’s speech.

Step 

To ensure that children feel as comfortable as possible, we will generally recommend that therapy takes place in a familiar environment. At Care Speech Pathology, we deliver all of our therapy sessions online over videocall (also known as “telehealth”) which allows children to attend sessions from the comfort of their own home (or even bedroom!). From there, we will start by completing a comprehensive assessment to determine if your child has speech difficulties and how it is impacting their ability to communicate. This assessment may include standardised tests, informal assessments, and observations of their speech in different contexts.

Step 

We can then plan individualised treatment for a lateral lisp and any other speech difficulties based on your child’s presentation. Therapy will involve a lot of repetition but we can cater this to your child’s interests and attention abilities. Sessions might work on showing your child where to put their mouth/tongue and making the new sound in words or phrases, while incorporating games, rhyming and hand actions to make the learning more interactive. Therapy will always incorporate family education so that the all-important practice can continue during the week at home.

Step 

We will also consider your child’s communication as a whole, across various contexts, and if there is anything else we can be doing to support them. For example, it might be suitable for us to provide support and training to education staff, to help improve academic performance and success in the classroom.

The Hagen Program
Speech Pathology Austrialia
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