February 27, 2019
Claire Follent explains what is a lisp
What is a lisp?
A lisp is a lay term for difficulty producing the sounds
‘s’, ‘z’, ‘sh’, ‘ch’ and ‘j’. With some lisps it also affects the
‘d’, ‘t’ and ‘n’ sounds.
There are four types of lisps:
1. A ‘lateral’ lisp: air escapes out the sides of the mouth and makes a ‘slushy’ or ‘wet’ sound. This is not a normal developmental pattern and a child is unlikely to grow out of it.
2. An ‘interdental’ lisp: the tongue is poked out between the teeth and produces more of a “th” sound. This can be part of normal development but it should have resolved by four and a half years.
3. A ‘palatal’ lisp: the body of the tongue touches the roof of the mouth. This is not a normal developmental pattern and a child is unlikely to grow out of it.
4. A ‘dentalised’ lisp: this is more of a description than a diagnostic term, but refers to when the tongue pushes up against the front teeth, forcing the air forward unnaturally.
A child should be able to produce the ‘s’, ‘z’, ‘ch’, ‘sh’ and ‘j’ sounds correctly by the age of five.