Don’t you hate those pesky interdental lisps? You know, the ones that won’t stay fixed?

To fix an interdental lisp – those lisps where your tongue sticks out between your teeth when you try to say /s/ – speech pathologists used to start with simple tasks, like saying an /s/ on its own. Once the child had mastered their /s/, we progressed in tiny hops (like baby bunny kittens) to slightly harder tasks. This traditional approach works.

But it’s SO SLOW!

Many kids – particularly older and more mature kids – hate being treated like babies. And, even after finishing traditional treatment, many kids have difficulties using their “new /s/” on words they haven’t practised and in more natural tasks, like story-telling and conversation. Which is, of course, the main point of trying to fix a lisp!

A new approach

More recent research evidence supports a different route for better results. Once a child can say the sound on his or her own, randomly mixing up hard and easy tasks can have quicker results that transfer more efficiently to real-world, lisp-free speech (e.g. see Skelton, 2004).

(You can read more about why using randomised practice, non-word practice and other principles of motor learning and speech here).

Our Pesky Lisp Fixer program has three stages

  1. Auditory Bombardment: 2 minutes per day – listening and tuning into the sound and practising it on its own. Audio file included!
  2. Our /s/-Syllable Boot Camp: Based on principles of motor speech, the boot camp involves 10-15 minutes a day of high repetition practice of nonsense syllables designed to get the tongue, lips and teeth working together with different vowel and consonant sequences in random order.
  3. Randomised Practice: Once you’ve conquered the boot camp, this gives you 20-30 minute sessions of imitating and naming words with /s/ in them, across all word positions. Again using a high repetition, randomised approach, we mix imitation, naming, and sentence generation tasks, with old-fashioned story telling, using over 200 high quality photographs – no cutesy vector clip art.

This program works best if an adult is around to give clear feedback every now and then – but no more than occasionally.

So download the Pesky Lisp Fixer today and get straight into getting rid of that pesky lisp!


Related articles:

Banter Speech & Language Banter Speech & Language
Banter Speech & Language is an independent firm of speech pathologists for adults and children. We help clients in our local area, including Concord, Rhodes, Strathfield and all other suburbs of Sydney’s Inner West.

Banter Speech & Language is owned and managed by David Kinnane, a Hanen- and LSVT LOUD-certified speech-language pathologist with post-graduate training in the Spalding Method for literacy, the Lidcombe and Camperdown Programs for stuttering, and Voicecraft for voice disorders. David is also a Certified PESL Instructor for accent modification.

David holds a Master of Speech Language Pathology from the University of Sydney, where he was a Dean’s Scholar. David is a Practising Member of Speech Pathology Australia and a Certified Practising Speech Pathologist (CPSP).

Print Friendly, PDF & Email