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Taylor'd Tips & Need to Knows


Dysfluency/Stuttering: is a disorder of fluency characteristics by various behaviors that interfere with the forward flow/smoothness of speech. 

Cluttering: a fluency disorder characterised by a rapid/irregular rate of speech, that coincide with excessive disfluencies, language or phonological disorders and attention deficits. 

Treatment: The is no "cure" for stuttering. Treatment primarily focuses on training and working with caregivers to develop techniques to help the child cope with and get beyond his or her stuttering. Children are not diagnosed as an individual who stutters unless the symptoms persist after age 5-6 years, as children are still developing language and their ability to form sentences by that age. Seek help from a speech-language pathologist's if symptoms persist for 6-months and/or beyond age 5-6 years old. 80% of preschoolers who stutter will spontaneously recover. Children who stutter early are more likely to spontaneously recover. 

What caregivers can do ...

  1. Speak in an unhurried way, pausing frequently.

  2. Be mindful of your body language and facial expressions. Simply convey that you're listening not judging. 

  3. Give your undivided attention to the speaker.

  4. Encourage all family members/friends to allow turn taking during conversations. Individuals who stutter do not like to be cut off or have their sentences finished for them.  

  5. Convey that you accept him/her the way he/she is. 


Lateral/Frontal Lisp

What is a lispA lisp is a consistently mispronounced sound that is caused by a misplacement of the tongue during speech. There are 4 types: frontal, lateral, palatal, & dental lisp. They typically affect the /s/ and /z/ sound; however, it can affect other sounds as well. In most cases, it is outgrown as children; however, some persist past childhood into adult hood. If it persist past age 7, seek professional assistance from a speech-language pathologist, dentist, and/or primary care physician.  The longer you wait to treat, the harder they are to correct.  

  • Frontal lisp: when the tongue placement is protruded forward creating a "th' sound where the /s/   and /z/ sound should be.

  • Lateral lisp: when the tongue placement is retracted back causing air to escape over the sides of the tongue creating slushy-like (excessive spit) sound for /s/ and /z/ sounds.

  • Palatal lisp: when the tongue contacts the soft palate causing air to be blocked, making it difficult to produce /s/ or /z/ sounds.

  • Dental lisp: when the tongue tip makes contact with the front teeth, causing air to be blocked,             making it difficult to produce /s/ or /z/ sounds.

Cause/Etiology: typically caused by incorrect tongue placements in the mouth, which in turn obstructs air flow from the inside of the mouth, causing the distortion of words and syllables. It can also be caused by one's dental structure (i.e. large spaces/gaps between teeth). Individuals who are mouth breathers, where the mouth is open and the tongue lies flat, causing tongue protrusion. 

Treatment: Articulation and oral motor therapy are types of intervention provided by a speech-language pathologist. The goal of articulation therapy is to help a child produce challenging sounds to achieve age appropriate speech. Oral motor therapy focuses on strengthening the muscles of the lips, tongue and jaw, while improving coordination and flexibility. 

What the caregiver can do ...

  1. Encourage breathing through their nose. If the the child is a mouth breather, during sleep or at rest refer to an ENT to rule out any existing allergy or sinus problems, as open-mouth breathing causes the tongue to lie flat and protrude forward.

  2. Do your best to eliminate thumb/finger-sucking, as it can contribute to a lisp.

  3. Drink with straws. This kind of sucking motion promotes good oral-motor strength.

  4. Model the appropriate sounds and over-exaggerate the oral placements, then encourage imitation.

  5. Use a mirror and practice putting keeping the teeth together while he makes an /s/. This will provide a visual model of correct oral placement. 

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