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Speech therapy or not for 6 1/2 with a lisp?


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I have a concern about my 6 1/2. She has a lisp and her speech still sounds babyish. I'm going back and forth on what to do. I could take her for an evaluation to a speech therapist, or work with her speech on my own at home, or do nothing right now.

 

I've looked at the chart the speech therapist at our school district gave me years ago when I first took my son for a speech evaluation. According to that chart, she's still within the normal range for that /s/ sound and blends. I'm fairly certain the school district would not help her at the present time. Even if the school district told me not to worry, I would worry because they missed what was going on with my son and I don't trust their opinion.

 

I'd really like the private therapist at least an evaluation, but it's expensive. And if she does qualify for speech therapy, it's both expensive and one more thing in my very busy schedule. I would do that if I thought she really needed it, but I'm not sure that she does.

 

I could try to work with her on my own at home. I can get her to make the proper /s/ sound, but she doesn't usually make it in her speech and blends are particularly hard for her. I could work with her on that more. I have access to some speech therapy products and I have some familiarity with how speech therapy and the techniques works.

 

But that brings me to my other option: doing nothing and waiting. I believe that one reason my son didn't qualify for speech therapy is because I worked with him on his speech alot at home. I'm pretty good at this stuff, but I'm not a professional. If I do my amateur best, it might be good enough to push her beyond the point of qualifying for therapy, but that might not be a good thing. It requires a lot from me and as I've already experienced with another child, not qualifying for treatment doesn't always mean that there isn't a problem.

 

Any thoughts?

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I'll share my thoughts (my dd9 and my ds4 both have lisps). My dd9 cannot get speech therapy at school because it doesn't affect anything academically (she has no other speech issues and she's performing above grade level)

 

I recently asked a speech therapist who I know socially about this and learned a couple of things I hadn't learned in 8 years of having one or more kids in speech therapy. (1) I suspected that time is not on our side, and she said dd9 is getting very close to the deadline, so to speak, for fixing this - as in, we better fix it by next summer! This makes sense, since DH had therapy for a lisp in high school and it was never fixed entirely. (2) I never suspected that a lisp is more of a specialty area of speech. She said to ask prospective therapists how many lisps they've fixed! She said I really need to find someone especially good at fixing lisps. I found that extremely interesting.

 

We did a summer of private speech therapy a few years ago to fix it, when I was taking two other kids anyway, but we never made much progress, and I have so much else going on that I hate to schedule something more. I'm afraid my back is up against a wall now.

 

My advice - which I wish I had followed - is to see about fixing it sooner rather than later.

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I'll share my thoughts (my dd9 and my ds4 both have lisps). My dd9 cannot get speech therapy at school because it doesn't affect anything academically (she has no other speech issues and she's performing above grade level)

 

I recently asked a speech therapist who I know socially about this and learned a couple of things I hadn't learned in 8 years of having one or more kids in speech therapy. (1) I suspected that time is not on our side, and she said dd9 is getting very close to the deadline, so to speak, for fixing this - as in, we better fix it by next summer! This makes sense, since DH had therapy for a lisp in high school and it was never fixed entirely. (2) I never suspected that a lisp is more of a specialty area of speech. She said to ask prospective therapists how many lisps they've fixed! She said I really need to find someone especially good at fixing lisps. I found that extremely interesting.

 

We did a summer of private speech therapy a few years ago to fix it, when I was taking two other kids anyway, but we never made much progress, and I have so much else going on that I hate to schedule something more. I'm afraid my back is up against a wall now.

 

My advice - which I wish I had followed - is to see about fixing it sooner rather than later.

Thanks for your insight. I really like the idea of looking for a therapist with lots of past experience in lisp correction. It makes perfect sense that speech therapists have different specialties. If we find the right therapist who knows exactly what she's doing so that we can fix the problem quickly, that would be great!

 

I'm sorry that you didn't have much luck correcting your child's lisp yet. I would be frustrated to spend a summer in speech therapy without making much progress. That's the exactly kind of thing I hope to avoid. I appreciate you sharing your experience and insight.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update:

I found a speech therapist with lots of experience fixing lisps. We had the evaluation. I'm really glad we did.

 

Her speech evaluation showed her speech sounds were significantly below normal. There were a few sounds besides /s/ affected. The therapist said my daughter has that type of lisp that is easier to correct and that often fixes itself as a child matures. (frontal lisp)

 

Since the problem might correct on its own, we'll probably wait on speech therapy, at least for now. We'll work on it a bit at home. I learned that I need to be careful not to cause her to produce the other type of lisp that's much harder to correct. It's good to be aware of that so I don't turn a small problem into a bigger problem. We're both glad we had a speech therapist who knows what she's doing evaluate my daughter and help point us in the right direction.

 

I'm a little sad too. I knew my daughter sound very baby-ish, but I didn't realize how far she was from most children her age until this evaluation.

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