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Exercises to Improve a Lateral Lisp

Many people, including both children and adults, have issues with lisping. A lisp is defined by difficulty pronouncing one or more letters resulting in the letters sounding jumbled over. Most people with a lisp have issues pronouncing an "S" or "Z" sound. This is known as a Lateral Lisp. It is important to contact a speech and language therapist to get proper help for your lisp problem, however there are a few exercises you can do at home to get started.

Identify Your Problem

Identify the letters and sounds you have trouble pronouncing. If you are unsure ask a family member or some friends for help. Make a list and practice saying the words and sounds correctly. Use an online dictionary with sound bites to help you or you can record yourself speaking to hear where you are going wrong.

Drinking Through a Straw

Many speech therapists believe that those with a lisp can benefit from straw drinking. This is because it forces the tongue to pull back, rather than push forward. Drinking all of your liquids through a straw will help you exercise your tongue and get you used to the feeling of having your tongue retracted.

Repeating Another Letter to Make Your Sound

For those who have trouble with the "S" sound, Dr. Caroline Bowen suggests producing the "T" sound repetitively and fast. In general the placement for the T sound is the same for the S sound. By repeatedly sounding out the "T" sound (TTTTTTTTTTTTTTT) you can actually “slide” it into the S sound.

The Butterfly Technique

If you have difficulty with "S" sounds, try the "Butterfly Technique." Place the outside of your tongue lightly on the sides of your teeth, like the wings of a butterfly. Keep the centre of your tongue curved in a groove letting the air flow over it. Now, try to make an "S" sound. You may have to repeat this several times before you see success.