Lisp: Cute? or Time for Intervention?

Lisps can be very cute on young children. But when does it stop being cute and become a concern? Children should be able to produce the /s/ sound by the age of 71/2 – so that’s the age we usually start to correct it. If your child is an actor, his/her agent will probably suggest it at this time if he hasn’t already.

There are two kinds of lisps. The frontal lisp is the most common. This is when the tongue comes forward between the front teeth and sounds like your child is saying /th/. This type of lisp can often correct itself up until the age of 7 1/2.

The second type of lisp is the lateral lisp. With this lisp the air comes out from the sides of the mouth and often sounds slushy. Think of the cartoon characters Sylvester the cat or Daffy Duck. The lateral lisp rarely corrects on it’s own. When a child has a lateral lisp it often affects other sounds like /sh, ch, j, and z/.

The staff at Elocution Solution has had over 30 years experience successfully correcting articulation problems in both children and adults. We’ve had many adults come to us who haven’t had their /s/ corrected when they were children and it’s never too late.