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Adult Articulation Therapy
Adult Lisp & R-Sound Remediation
Articulation is the process of speech sound production through coordination of the lips, tongue, palate, voice and more.
Adults are often incorrectly led to believe that articulation therapy past childhood is hopeless, but we're here to tell you otherwise! Articulation therapy for adults is different than for children as adults learn and apply information differently. Adults do best with explicit learning of sound production, auditory training, direct treatment, drill practice, and a systematic approach to application to reduce associated fears and anxieties that have developed in relation to having a speech difference.
Speech-language pathologist and Linguist, Daniel, works with adults to correct speech sound disorders and differences that began in childhood and have persisted through adulthood.
A lisp is a distortion of speech sounds involving front of the tongue. Commonly, these include the /s/ and /z/ sounds, but a lisp can also affect the “ch”, “j”, “sh” and “zh” (as in “beige”) sounds. I tend to think of it as an airflow problem—the tongue is directing airflow through the mouth, but the air is ending up in the wrong places.
To produce an /s/ sound, the tongue is positioned to direct airflow from the lungs down a very narrow groove in the middle of the tongue, which produces turbulencein the airstream. We hear this as a high-pitched hissing sound; because it is such a high-frequency, high-energy sound (as well as being one of the most frequent sounds in English), any deviations in this sound tend to be quite obvious to listeners.
Here, the tongue fully protrudes between the teeth, as it also does for the “th” sounds, resulting in a “dull” sound. For example, the word “pass” may sound like “path”.
Similar to an interdental lisp, the tongue is positioned farther forward than a typical /s/, but does not fully protrude from between the teeth. The tongue may be positioned very close to or directly against the teeth. The resulting distortion may be pronounced or subtle depending on the positioning of the tongue.
Instead of a narrow groove down the middle of the tongue, air is allow to flow around the sides of the tongue, similar to the position used for /l/. This tends to result in a “slushy” sound.
This refers to the hard palate, which is the bony “roof” of the mouth behind the teeth. Here, the tongue is positioned too far back. As the tongue verge into “sh” territory, the /s/ takes on a “shushy” sound.
(Think: Sean Connery for this one).
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