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A lisp is a speech sound disorder that involves difficulty pronouncing certain sounds correctly. The most common types of lisps are characterised by difficulties with the production of the "s" and "z" sounds.


Interdental Lisp: With an interdental lisp, the tongue protrudes between the front teeth during the production of "s" and "z" sounds, resulting in a sound similar to the English "th."


Lateral Lisp: In a lateral lisp, air escapes over the sides of the tongue, rather than over the centre during the production of "s" and "z" sounds. This can lead to a wet or slushy sound that is different from the intended pronunciation.


Palatal Lisp: With a palatalised lisp, the "s" and "z" sounds are pronounced with the tongue rising up towards the hard palate. This can lead to a sound that is more like a whistling "sh".


Dentalised Lisp: In a dentalised lisp, the "s" and "z" sounds are produced with the tongue against or between the front teeth, creating a sound that is different from the standard pronunciation.


Lisps are not limited to these categories, and a person with a lisp can present with a combination of features from different types of lisps.


Some children may naturally outgrow lisps as they develop their speech and language skills, while others may require speech therapy to address and correct the issue.


Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is a neurodevelopmental condition characterised by significant difficulties with the acquisition and use of language in the absence of a known biomedical condition (e.g., hearing loss, neurological disorder). DLD is not attributed to intellectual disabilities, global developmental delays, or other primary conditions that might explain the language difficulties. People with DLD usually have difficulty learning, understanding and using language. Relationships and employment opportunities can also be impacted.


DLD is a permanent and lifelong disability which has been present from childhood. one in fourteen people are impacted by DLD.

Here are key features and aspects of Developmental Language Disorder:


Onset and Persistence: DLD typically manifests early in a child's development and persists into adulthood. The difficulties may become more apparent as language demands increase in complexity.


Variability: The severity and specific manifestations of DLD can vary widely among individuals. For example, some may primarily struggle with vocabulary, while others may have difficulty with sentence structure, grammar, or comprehension.


Impact on Daily Functioning: DLD can have significant consequences for academic achievement, social interaction, and emotional well-being. It may affect success in educational settings and can impact an individual's ability to communicate effectively in various social contexts.


Co-occurring Conditions: Individuals with DLD may also experience other co-occurring conditions, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), reading difficulties (dyslexia), or anxiety and depression.


Diagnosis and Assessment: A diagnosis is provided when:

  • The person's language skills is lower than would be expected for their age

  • The language difficulties are persistent and have not resolved by five years of age

  • The language difficulties have a functional impact on the person's life

Intervention and Support:

  • Speech Pathology: Individualised speech therapy is often a primary intervention for DLD.

  • Educational Support: Collaboration with educators to implement strategies and accommodations in the classroom to support academic success.

  • Family Involvement: Involving the family in therapy and providing strategies for supporting language development at home.

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