Tongue-Tip Protrusion

By Pam Marshalla

6025983825_fd7c308d70_mQ: I notice that kids who come to me for frontal lisp often have the tongue-tip protruding on T, D, N, and L as well. Should I address these errors too?

I always fix tongue-tip problems on T, D, N, and L before I work on S and Z.

From a motor develop perspective, correct tongue movement on S and Z is an outgrowth of tongue movement on T, D, N, and L.

There is no reason why you can’t work on all six lingua-alveolars at the same time.  Make the lessons be: “The tongue stays in all the time when we make T, D, N, L, S, and Z.”

12 thoughts on “Tongue-Tip Protrusion”

  1. Thanks so much for this post. To follow up – would you say that lingual protrusion for /t, d, n/ is ever developmentally normal? If so, when is it expected to resolve (i.e., when is tongue tip discrimination / elevation supposed to develop?)

    1. I think that lingua protrusion on the lingua-alveolars is still considered normal until age 6-8.
      This is a place to rely on the old developmental norms 🙂

      1. Hi Pam, thanks for your clarifying that lingua protrusion on the lingua-alveolars is still considered normal until age 6-8. Could I please have a reference for this? I am just wanting to use this on a report. Thanks!

        1. May,
          I am terribly sorry, Pam passed away in 2015. I wish I could give more information.
          All the best,
          Shanti M.

  2. What about a child who produces frontal lisp, tongue tip protrusion on /l/, and then also seems to over-protrude the tongue for /th/. Should you attempt to bring the tongue further in for the /th/?

    1. Depends on the age, cognitive level, and neuromuscular status of the client.
      If this is an elementary child with no cognitive or neuro issues, I probably would do all of it.

  3. Sort-of related question: I have a little guy who has a frontal lisp /s z/ but (initially) was also stopping affricates and had a frontal lisp for /sh/. He is now producing “dge”, “ch”, and “sh” accurately, but is having great difficulty with placement for /s z/. Any suggestions would be very helpful!

  4. In spontaneous speech it’s a frontal lisp. However, when he tries to make the “snake sound” with teeth closed, it’s now more like an “sh”. He used to produced “sh” with a frontal lisp However, “sh” is now 100% correct. He has some success with the long T, when putting dental floss around the central incisors, and some with the straw/pretzel stick between the teeth, but it’s not consistent. His best is “tsss”. Is there anything more I should be doing? Thank you so much!

    1. You are on your way. Take your time. Patience. You don’t need to do anything else right now, just keep doing this.

      • He is young. Rome was not built in a day.
      • Stick with Sh and Ts. Work on Sh in initial and final and take it to phrases, sentences, paragraphs.
      • Stick with Ts and work it t the ends of words, and then take these words to phrases, sentences, paragraphs.

      This is my message for every reader- STOP WORRYING ABOUT INITIAL S WITH LITTLE GUYS. Establish the motor pattern with Sh and Ts, and take these into phrases, sentences, paragraphs. Initial S will be the LAST thing he will gain. 🙂

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