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How to help your child if he/she has a Lisp

A common type of  speech sound impairment that can be easily recognized is a Lisp. This functional speech impairment generally affects children and adults and their ability to correctly pronounce certain sounds. At Milestone Therapy Group, we’re committed to helping children affected by  Lisps through licensed and certified speech therapists with considerable experience in handling a range of speech and language disorders. Here’s a short compilation of facts and practices that will help you understand the problem of Lisping and take the right steps towards helping your child overcome this speech sound impairment.

The types

Lisping can be categorized into four primary types:

 * Frontal lisp – which occurs when the child pushes the tongue too far forward, making a “th” sound when trying to speak words with S or Z in them.

* Lateral lisp – which occurs when extra air slides over the child’s tongue when making S and Z sounds, making it sound like there is excess saliva.

*Palatal lisp – which happens when the child touches the tongue to the roof of the mouth when making S and Z sounds. 

 *Dental lisp – This lisp sounds like a frontal lisp. The difference is that instead of pushing the tongue through the teeth, it is pressing against the teeth.

The signs

*Inability to pronounce consonants like s, z, sh, l, r and ch

The possible causes

Some of the factors that can lead to a lisp are:

*Excessive thumb sucking

*Overuse of pacifiers

*Structural irregularities of the tongue, palate or teeth

*Mild hearing loss for a brief period

*Prolonged bottle feeding

Ways to reduce or eliminate a lisp in a child

*Don’t lose your patience

 Be patient and understanding when your child is trying to communicate and remain engaged as you do not want to impede or discourage their efforts to speak or communicate better. 

*Improve your child’s confidence and be supportive

Your child’s sense of self-confidence is directly linked to his/her feelings. So, try to make your child feel loved as much as you can and be supportive. When your child feels good, they will make an effort to speak or communicate better. 

*Ensure extra care 

You could help improve your child’s learning experience by speaking to your child’s teacher and requesting a speech and language evaluation to assist your child in learning strategies to help change their sound production. 

*Schedule periodic dental check-ups

Check for the alignment of your child’s teeth periodically. 

While the practices stated above may help bring about some degree of change or improvement, you would still need to visit a qualified and experienced speech therapy expert to help your child effectively overcome the problem of Lisping. At Milestone Therapy Group, we came into existence with the sole purpose of helping children with a lisp and other types of speech sound disorders find their path to normal and healthy childhoods. Our licensed and certified Speech Language Pathologist has successfully treated and helped many children. Book a consultation with us and let’s get started helping your child take those first steps towards producing clear speech sounds and increasing their confidence.

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How to know if your child needs an occupational therapy evaluation

As a parent, you want to see your child grow and develop without challenges. Therefore, you may feel concerned if you notice delays in your child’s skills at an age when these are either supposed to be forming or be in place. But how do you know whether what you are seeing needs a professional evaluation?

Many parents and caregivers have heard about Occupational Therapy services but aren’t quite sure exactly what an OT does. Occupational Therapy works with individuals on their Occupations and occupations look different at every age. In pediatric Occupational Therapy, the plan of care is to help support a child’s participation in daily routines and activities. At Milestone Therapy Group, we believe that the first step to helping children succeed is timely identification of needs and intervention. Below is a brief overview of some areas of development that an Occupational Therapy evaluation or ongoing OT sessions could address. 

  • Helping Infants Meet Developmental Milestones
  • Tolerating tummy time
  • Rolling, sitting, crawling and walking
  • Visually tracking toys
  • Reaching or moving to get to toys

Feeding and Mealtime Routines

  • Latching to accept breast or bottle for feedings
  • Introducing purees and table foods (accepting food off the spoon and progression of textures).
  • Self-feeding: finger foods and utensil use
  • Picky eaters: increasing the variety or volume of foods a child is eating
  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing food
  • Difficulty in drinking from a cup or drinking from a straw

Fine Motor

  • Difficulty reach, grasping and manipulating toys
  • Completing toys such as a shape sorter or puzzle
  • Grasp on crayons and pencils
  • Copying simple pre writing strokes and progressing to handwriting (forming letters)
  • Bilateral Coordination skills: lacing/stringing beads and snipping/cutting with scissors

Gross Motor 

  • Walking and Running
  • Jumping
  • Walking up and down the stairs
  • Throwing and catching a ball
  • Decreased balance and coordination

Social Skills

  • Difficulty at home, daycare, preschool or school with:
  • Following classroom routine and directions
  • Transitioning between activities
  • Sharing toys with peers
  • Sitting to attend to adult directed tasks
  • Prefers to be self-directed
  • Limited eye contact

Sensory 

  • Hypersensitive or under responsive to sensory input
  • Heightened sensitivity to sound, touch or movement
  • Doesn’t like to have hands, face or clothing messy
  • Under responsive to certain sensations like pain
  • Difficulty coping with change or transitions
  • Inability to stay calm
  • Constantly moving, jumping or crashing

Dressing

  • Difficulty cooperating in dressing and undressing routines
  • Unable to dress themselves independently (when age appropriate)
  • Difficulty managing fasteners: zipper, buttons and or snaps

We hope this article will guide you to understanding whether an occupational therapy evaluation is what your child needs at this moment. In fact, if you really want to be sure, you could even speak to us at Milestone Therapy Group. Our licensed and qualified occupational therapist has helped countless children meet their goals! Please feel free to book a consultation with us and let’s get started helping your child discover the path to healthy growth and development.