Parent Seeking Advice About the Lateral Lisp

By Pam Marshalla

Q: My 5-year-old is in articulation therapy with a speech pathologist for half-hour per week to treat a lateral lisp. Is this intense enough? And what is the best thing for me to do at home to help her practice?

One half-hour session per week with homework activities is intense enough for a lateral lisp. That is precisely what I give my clients. Success all depends upon whether or not the therapist knows what he or she is doing. The lateral lisp can be tricky for someone that has not dealt with it successfully before, and sadly your specific SLP may not have been trained in it. Unfortunately today’s therapists do not all get information on how to do this.

Because you are a parent and not a therapist, however, I cannot give you what you need to know in a quick email. You need to depend upon your therapist. He/she will guide you through it. If you do not have confidence that your SLP knows what he/she is doing, you might consider getting a second opinion.

For more information that is already prepared:

  • I have posted several questions and accompanying answers (Q&A’s) about the lateral lisp in this blog that you could read.
  • I have taught a three-hour online class specifically on techniques for the lateral lisp – it is available through I am not sure if a non-speech person can sign up for this class or not, but it might be worth checking out. This lecture gets right to the heart of the matter — how to achieve correct oral position.
  • I have seen some therapists posting videos of therapy techniques on YouTube. I think I have seen them on this topic, but I have not had the time to watch any of them to evaluate their quality. Some may be worth checking out.
  • My book Frontal Lisp, Lateral Lisp spells out the procedures in great detail for therapists. It’s easy to read, and you could do so, but it contains much more information than you would need as a parent. I have had some parents read sections of it and they have reported that it helped them a lot. It should be noted, however, that these parents also were working with an SLP at the same time.

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