Why Do I Have a Lisp? Techniques and Treatments To Address Lisping (2023)

You may probably have lisps if you have difficulty speaking, especially the word with s and z sounds. It is possible that from time to time, you may ask yourself like ‘why do I have a lisp?’. As a matter of fact, there are a few reasons why you may have ended up with a Lisp. One reason may be due to your personal language history. Or then again, it may happen because of a sudden accident. In any case, this article will discuss the different types of lisps, the treatment, some techniques to correct lisping, how a speech therapist can help this speech disorder, and more.

What is a Lisp?

The word “lisp” refers to a speech impediment in which the mouth makes difficult, unclear “s” and “z” sounds. This might or may not include the tongue protruding out.

Lisps are a type of functional speech disorder (FSD). In other words, there’s a problem creating one or more specific speech sounds. It is functional since the basis of the problem is not entirely clear. These can last into adulthood. However, they may be treated with speech therapy if detected early enough.

Type of Lisp

There are four significant types of lisps or lisping. These are:Why Do I Have a Lisp? Techniques and Treatments To Address Lisping (1)

Palatal Lisp:This may also be referred to as palatalization disorder. When the tongue fails to touch the roof of the mouth behind the teeth, it’s when making an “s” or “z” sound. This type of Lisp is often associated with people who have articulation problems.

Lateral Lisp:Lateral lisp occurs when the sound “s” and “z” are pronounced by pressing the air through the side of the mouth. This type of lisp is often associated with people who have breathing problems.

Dentalized Lisp:This is when the toungue’s back curls upwards, causing an “s” or “z” sound to be made too much with the front of the mouth.

Interdental Lisp:This is also known as a frontal lisp. In fact, it is the most common type of lisp. This is due to the tongue pushing between spaces in front teeth, typical of young children who have had their two front teeth removed.

What Causes a Lisp?

There are several different reasons why someone might have a Lisp. This can include:

Natural causes such as weak facial muscles or genetic conditions cause a person to develop a lisp. Therapy for this includes strengthening the muscles that affect speech and may also have oral surgery. Disorders such as cleft palate can also cause a Lisp.

Furthermore, accidental causes such as a knock to the head may damage the speech mechanism. Injuries to the face can also affect how a person speaks.

Is There A Way To Speak Without a Lisp?

For most people, this is not possible. However, you can learn to talk around your lisp using special techniques. This may involve watching your tongue or moving it differently. For instance, if you have an interdental lisp, you could watch the muscles in your mouth when making an “s” sound without a lisp.

If you are diagnosed with a lisp, it’s important to remember that this is usually something you can learn how to speak around – you are not stuck with it for life. With the help of a speech therapist, you can work on improving your pronunciation and talking without a Lisp.

Techniques to Correct Lisping

Techniques to correct lisping usually involve practicing the correct pronunciation of the sound. You may also be given exercises to help strengthen the muscles used for speech. There is typically no cure if you have a Lisp due to accidental or natural causes. However, with practice and therapy, you may be able to improve your speech.

In fact, many different techniques can be used to help you improve your speech. Some of these include:

Awareness of Lisping

The first step in correcting a lisp is being aware of it. Once you are aware of the problem, you can begin to work on fixing it. This may involve practicing the correct pronunciation of the sound and exercises to help strengthen the muscles used for speech.

Tongue Placement

The correct placement of your tongue when making the “s” and “z” sounds is crucial in preventing a Lisp. Make sure that your tongue touches the roof of your mouth behind your teeth. This will help to ensure that the sound is clear and pronounced correctly.

Assessment of a Lisp

If you are concerned that you or your child may have a lisp, it is essential to seek the assistance of a speech therapist. They will be able to assess your speech and determine the cause of the lisp. They may also recommend therapy to help correct the problem.

Practicing Words

When your speech-language pathologist knows what type of lisp you have and the sounds you struggle with. Then, they will help you practice words that include initial, middle, and final consonants. You will then progress to compound syllables.

It is critical to practice these terms with your youngster at home. To begin, speech-language pathologists can provide word and phrase lists.


You’ll practice phrases once you’ve mastered tongue placement and can speak a few words without lisping.

Your speech therapist will construct phrases of your difficult words for you to practice. You may begin by practicing one sentence at a time and work your way up to numerous terms in a row as you get more comfortable with the process.


The final part of the progression is to have a conversation. This stage should see your youngster able to converse with either you or their peers without lisping.

However, practicing at home might be helpful by asking your kid to tell you a tale or step-by-step directions on how to complete a project.

Drinking Through A Straw

This extra exercise can be done at home or whenever your kid has access to a straw. It may help correct a lisp by keeping the tongue straight down away from the mouth and front teeth without forcing it to point upward.

In any case, drinking through a straw can’t cure a lisp. However, it may help develop the awareness of tongue placement required during word and phrase exercises.

How Speech-Language Pathologists Learn to Treat Patients With Lisping Disorders

Speech-language pathologists, also known as speech therapists, provide therapy for patients with various physical and cognitive-communication difficulties, including stuttering, word-finding issues, semantics, syntax, phonics, vocalization, and swallowing. These problems may be caused by several factors, including autism, stroke, brain damage, hearing loss, developmental delay, etc.

A trained speech-language pathologist is considerate, resourceful, and can create custom treatment plans for each patient. The following are some of the principal job duties of speech-language pathologists:Why Do I Have a Lisp? Techniques and Treatments To Address Lisping (2)

  • Examine patients for signs of speech issues, such as hearing loss and voice difficulties.
  • Define and treat speech, language, and swallowing problems.
  • Create customized treatment plans for the unique needs of every patient.
  • Assist patients in improving their communication abilities.
  • Encourage family members or caregivers to learn how to assist the patient in the most effective way possible.

Treatment For Lisping

If you have been diagnosed with a Lisp, various treatments may be recommended by your speech therapist. These can include:

Articulation Therapy

Articulation therapy, also known as speech sound therapy, is designed to help those experiencing difficulty with specific sounds or letters. This type of treatment aims to improve communication skills and reduce errors.

Exercise Therapy

Exercise therapy is a type of treatment used to help improve the muscle tone and mobility of the tongue. This type of therapy can be helpful for those who have a lisp caused by low muscle tone in the tongue.


This is a method that utilizes technology to assist you in recognizing how your body responds to various circumstances. It may aid in managing stress and/or anxiety, which can improve your communication.

Dietary Changes

For some people, certain foods such as bread and cereals may cause the tongue to stick to the roof of the mouth when making an “s” or “z” sound. These can be cut out from a person’s diet to determine if it helps their Lisp.

When to Talk With a Speech Therapist

The first step in determining why you have a lisp is consulting with your doctor. Your doctor will ask questions regarding the specific difficulties during a conversation, any injuries or illnesses you have, and what medications you are currently taking if any. Once your doctor has a general idea of your symptoms, they may refer you to a speech therapist for further evaluation.

It is best to seek help from a speech therapist as soon as possible if you are noticing that your lisp is affecting your daily life. Delaying treatment can make it more difficult to correct the problem. Additionally, speech therapists work with various patients with different speech difficulties, so early consultation will allow the therapist to best assess and treat your unique needs.

What to Expect From a Speech therapist

If you have been referred to a speech therapist, there are some things you can expect from your experience. First, the therapist will likely ask you several questions about your problem with speech. This will help the therapist to evaluate and diagnose your specific condition.

After diagnosing the cause of your lisp, the therapist will create a treatment plan specifically tailored to meet your needs. This may involve working on specific sounds or exercises to improve your speech. The therapist may also provide you with tools and tips to help you practice at home.

The therapist will likely ask you to attend regular sessions. This will allow them to track your progress and make necessary adjustments to your treatment plan. It is essential to be patient and diligent with your therapy to see the best results.


The most common reason people experience a Lisp is damage to the brain. This can be caused by traumatic brain injury, stroke, tumors, and/or conditions such as head injuries and cerebral palsy.

Early diagnosis and treatment will help your speech therapist create a customized treatment plan best suited for you. This can improve your chances of eliminating your lisp and restoring your everyday speech. Remember to follow your appointment with your therapy to have successful treatment.

If you are experiencing any problems with speech, it is best to consult with your doctor as soon as possible. They will be able to refer you to a speech therapist who can help evaluate and diagnose your unique needs. With the proper diagnosis and treatment plan, working with a therapist can help improve your speech and eliminate your lisp.


Functional speech disorders: clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and management.


Speech-Language Pathologists.


What Is a Lisp and What Causes It?


Articulations evaluations and therapy.


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