My child has a lisp! Like stuttering, lisping can also occur during speech development in children. Children’s language development is composed of the following three areas: Pronunciation, The acquisition of vocabulary, and proper grammar.
The constantly growing vocabulary enables your child to communicate better and better with the people around him/her. The last area your child will learn is grammar. It enables your child to communicate in a meaningful way. During the language development that the child goes through, disorders can occur and affect the pronunciation.
Lisping is also called sigmatism and is one of the most common speech disorders. In this case, the child learns the correct vocabulary and grammar but replaces one or more sounds with non-existent or incorrect sounds. The most common cause is that the S and other sibilants are not formed correctly, because, for example, the tongue remains between, instead of behind the teeth.
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Healthy Speech Development Or Disorder?
Articulation disorders are basically part of the normal development of a child, but not every child has the same degree of this disorder. It is difficult to define what is “normal” in speech development.
It is generally true that lisping is harmless until the age of three. But even in a four-year-old child, lisping is not a cause for concern.
However, if the lisp continues beyond the fourth birthday, it is highly advisable to consult the pediatrician about it. In this way, it is possible to find out if the cause of the lisp is physical and physical. The lisp usually subsides after the change of teeth has taken place. Thus, therapy is not absolutely necessary at preschool age.
How Do I React In Case Of A Speech Disorder?
You should never put your child under pressure, but react with calmness and composure. You should also not encourage your child to repeat after you, as this can very quickly lead to a consolidation of the speech defect and to frustration as soon as your child realizes that he or she cannot do something important or is doing something wrong.
When your child is speaking, you should always make sure that you let him or her speak and do not anticipate what is supposed to be said. This will give your child the feeling that you are not interested in the content of what is being said, but only in the speech errors.
In order for your child’s language to develop properly, you should talk to your child a lot. Television and audiobooks are not suitable for this. Kindergarten is also very important for your child’s language development. Studies have shown that the longer children attend kindergarten, the less language development they need. It has also been proven that children who are already four years old and have a lisp very often develop a reading and spelling disability later on.
What You Can Do About Speech Disorders
- So that your child does not lose the joy of speaking, you should never correct him. It is enough to say the sentence correctly once again. So if your child says something like “Daddy is picking up Grandma’s car” you can answer “Yes, Daddy is picking up Grandma with the car”.
- Children with a speech disorder, are often also very clumsy. So you should let your child do a lot of handicrafts, swimming or gymnastics, which can greatly improve body control and fine motor skills. This will also increase self-confidence and your child will be more confident to speak.
- When speaking, you should increase the fun factor. Your child can get a playful approach to language through role-play, counting verses, rhymes, and guessing & finger games.
These Games Can Help Against Lisp
- A speech disorder such as lisping can have two different causes, which require different support. Since you can only poorly diagnose these causes as an outsider, you should promote both areas.
- If your child has motor difficulties in forming the appropriate sounds, it is very helpful to train the muscles of the lips and tongue. You should practice the “sh” with your child, for example, by playing steam lock. Making faces with your child can improve mouth function. Various sounds such as clicking the tongue can also be very helpful.
- If your child has difficulty differentiating different sounds despite normal hearing, the sounds will be confused when hearing and also as a result when speaking. By drawing your child’s attention to everyday sounds, such as a passing motorcycle or car, you can practice listening carefully with your child.