Recently, there has been an influx of Adults seeking a speech pathologist at the clinic to tackle mild speech disorders such as mild stuttering in nervous situations or a lateral lisp sound in conversational speech. One of the first questions that they tend to ask is how quickly their speech can be fixed. This is a difficult question to answer as it is dependent on how motivated the person is, how well the program works for them and how well the person is able to follow through with the home program provided. A recent patient that I worked with however, highlighted just how quickly this process happens when the treatment program is well selected and tailored to the person’s individual needs and they are sufficiently motivated to follow through with the home program provided.
What is a lisp?
In the case of Patient M.P., the speech disorder was a lateral lisp on the ‘s’ and ‘z’ sounds. A lateral lisp is when a person has difficulty producing either the ‘s’, ‘z’, ‘sh’, ‘ch’ or ‘j’ sounds. The sound is often flat sounding with too much air coming out of the mouth. In most cases, the tongue is not curved to allow for the flow of air through the middle of the tongue and instead comes out through the sides of the mouth creating that flat airy sound.
M.P attended an initial one hour consultation at the clinic with the intention of eliminating his speech errors in order to sound more professional amongst colleagues as he was about to present his PhD proposal. A comprehensive speech assessment was conducted as well as a brief language screener to confirm there were no co morbid language impairments. M.P presented with normal language and a mild speech disorder and the rest of the session was spent targeting his two speech sounds errors through articulation therapy. M.P was then given a structure home program schedule to follow over the coming week and returned the following week for a half hour therapy session. Upon review of his progress following the program over the past week, I noted that M.P. had progressed to the final stage of articulation therapy, which is generalisation of the sounds into conversation.
As M.P. was able to follow the entire speech program, which was well suited and specifically designed for him, his speech errors had been completely eliminated over the span of 1 week. M.P demonstrated that with the proper motivation, an individually tailored program and adherence to the provided home program, therapy can be successful in a relatively short time span.
For more information on this topic or any speech related fields, contact the ENT Clinic on 1300 123 368 and make an appointment with our Speech Pathologist Ashleigh Fattah.