Understanding Different Types of Lisps: How to Spot and Treat Them

A lisp is a speech disorder characterized by difficulty or inability to pronounce certain sounds correctly. Here are some common types of lisps:

1. Interdental Lisp

In an interdental lisp, the tongue protrudes between the front teeth when producing the sounds /s/ and /z/. As a result, these sounds may be pronounced as “th” sounds. For example, “sun” may be pronounced as “thun.”

2. Dentalized Lisp

In a dentalized lisp, the tongue touches or pushes against the front teeth when producing sounds like /s/ and /z/. This can result in an altered sound quality, with these sounds sounding more like “th.” For example, “snake” may be pronounced as “thnake.”

3. Lateral Lisp

In a lateral lisp, air escapes over the sides of the tongue, causing a slushy or “wet” sound when producing sounds like /s/ and /z/. Instead of a clear “s” sound, it may sound more like a “sl” or “sh” sound. For example, “sun” may be pronounced as “shun.”

4. Palatal Lisp

In a palatal lisp, the middle part of the tongue touches or approaches the hard palate, which is the roof of the mouth, when producing sounds like /s/ and /z/. This can result in a “y” or “zh” sound. For example, “sun” may be pronounced as “yun” or “zhun.”

It’s important to note that lisps can vary in severity and presentation from person to person. Some individuals may have a mild lisp that only affects certain sounds, while others may have a more pronounced lisp that affects a wider range of sounds. Speech therapy and intervention can help individuals with lisps improve their speech clarity and pronunciation.