Many people, including children and adults, have problems with lisping. A lisp is determined by difficulty in pronouncing some letters which result in sounding jumbled or mixed over.
Pronouncing the word with the letter “S” and “Z” is difficult for people with a lisp. This is called a lateral lisp. It is advisable to contact a language and speech therapist to get the right help for the lisp problem, although there are some exercises that can be done at home to get started for treating the lisp.
Recognize the sounds and letters which one has trouble pronouncing. If a person having problems with lisping is unsure, ask members of the family or some friends for help. Take advantage of an online dictionary for sound bits to help incorrect pronunciation or record own speaking to hear and identify the mistakes. Make a list of the words which are pronounced wrong and practice those words with the correct sounds.
Many speech therapists trust that those with a problem with lisping can benefit from drinking through a straw. This is because when a person drinks with the help of a straw, it pressurizes the tongue to pull back as compared to normal drinking that pushes the tongue forward. Drinking all the liquids with the help of straw will help in exercising the tongue and it eventually gets used to having the tongue retracted.
For those who have a problem with the “S” sound, it is suggested to produce the sound of “T” fast and repetitively. As a rule, the placement for the sound “T” is the same for the sound “S”. By frequently pronouncing the letter “T” (TTTTTTTTTTTTTTT) one can “slide” it into the sound “S”.
If one struggles with pronouncing “S”, try the technique called “Butterfly Technique”. Place the outer side of the tongue gently on the sides of the teeth, the same as the wings of a butterfly. Let the centre of the tongue curve or twist in a groove that help the airflow over it. At that moment, try to make them sound “S”. One might have to repeat this many times before succeeding.
There are numerous things that increase lisp problems in individuals. Most of these occur at a very early age. Nearly all lisp are caused by incorrect tongue position in the mouth, which blocks the flow of air from the inside of the mouth causing the deformation of syllables and words.
Tongue-ties are also observed as a probable reason for lisping. However, it is currently unspecified as to whether it is affected by the muscles which control the tongue movements inside the mouth or caused by the tongue itself. Lisping is a temporary problem and is likely to go away after a certain age in children who have started to speak.