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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

DS's lisp and spitting whilst talking

(4 Posts)
MaryMotherOfCheeses Tue 27-Jan-09 18:03:26

As far as I know, a referral to see a speech therapits takes a couple of years in these parts.

DS has problems with his adenoids, which makes him sound very bunged up.

On top of that he's quite lispy. He spits a bit when he talks. He's 7 and kids at school are starting to comment in the unintentionally unkind but blunt way they do. Poor kid. It's the spitting which really bothers him.

He had some speech therapy when he was 4, and I know he can make the correct sounds when he concentrates, but he rushes and the right sounds don't come out in normal speech.

What can I do to help? Do I just have to keep correcting his sounds or what? And will that help the saliva problem?

PuzzleRocks Tue 27-Jan-09 19:55:00

I found this info online. Sounds like he might have a lateral lisp which might help you get a quicker referral?

Four types of lisp

1. Interdental (frontal) lisp
In an interdental lisp (or frontal lisp) the tongue protrudes between the front teeth and the air-flow is directed forwards. The /s/ and /z/ sound like 'th'.

Children developing speech along typical lines may have interdental lisps until they are about 4½ - after which they disappear. If they don't 'disappear' an SLP assessment is indicated.

Interdental /s/
Words such as 'soup', 'missing' and 'pass', which all contain the voiceless alveolar fricative consonant /s/ are pronounced 'thoop', 'mithing' and 'path'. The voiceless 'th' sound that occurs in a word like 'thing' (or a sound very much like it) replaces the /s/.

Interdental /z/
Words like 'zoo', 'easy' and 'buzz' which all contain the voiced alveolar fricative consonant /z/ are pronounced 'thoo', 'eethee' and 'buth'. The voiced 'th' sound that occurs in a word like 'them' (or a sound very much like it) replaces the /z/.

2. 'Dentalised lisp'
'Dentalised lisp' is not an 'official' diagnostic term. It is an expression (like 'dentalised production') that SLPs use to describe the way an individual is producing certain sounds. The tongue rests on, or pushes against, the front teeth, the air-flow is directed forwards, producing a slightly muffled sound.

Typically developing children (in terms of their speech) may produce dentalised variants of /s/ and /z/ until around 4½ years - and then grow out of it. If they don't grow out of it, an SLP assessment is indicated.

3. Lateral lisp
Lateral lisps are not found in typical speech development. The tongue position for a lateral lisp is very close to the normal position for /l/ and the sound is made with the air-flow directed over the sides of the tongue. Because of the way it sounds, this sort of lisp is sometimes referred to as a 'slushy ess' or a 'slushy lisp'. A lateral lisp often sounds 'wet' or 'spitty'.

Unlike interdental and dentalised lisps, lateral lisps are not characteristic of normal development. An SLP assessment is indicated for anyone with a lateral lisp.

4. Palatal lisp
Palatal lisps are not found in typical speech development. Here, the mid-section of the tongue comes in contact with the soft palate, quite far back. If you try to produce a /ç/ - or a 'h' closely followed by a 'y', and prolong it, you more or less have the sound.

Unlike interdental and dentalised lisps, palatal lisps are not characteristic of normal development. An SLP assessment is indicated for anyone with a palatal lisp.

'sh', 'zh', 'ch', 'j'
Sometimes children and adults who lisp when they attempt to say /s/ and /z/ also have tongue placement problems when they try to say 'sh' as in 'shoe', 'zh' as in measure, 'ch' as in 'chair', and 'j' as in 'jump'.

They may dentalise these sounds, or produce them interdentally, or produce them with lateral air escape, or with excessive palate to tongue contact.

MaryMotherOfCheeses Tue 27-Jan-09 23:42:02

Thanks puzzle smile

I can ask for a referral, but as I say, they can take a long time.

Bumping for anything I can do as a parent in the meantime? Don't want to just keep correcting him, but he can be tricky to understand sometimes.

anotheryearanothername Wed 28-Jan-09 08:38:03

I am no expert, but the speech and language therapist at school told us to work on the sounds in question in this order:

-by itself
-at the front of the word
-at the back of the word
-in the middle of the word
-in sentences

I'd say better to do little and often specific practice than correct his speech every day. As I say, I'm no expert... HTH

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