Speech Pathologists Questions Lisp

Do children eventually outgrow a lisp?

My son recently developed an interdental lisp and I just want to know if he would eventually outgrow it. I'm worried about how kids will respond to it at school. Will they make fun of him? Bully him? I don't know, but I'm hoping it'll just outgrow over time and if they are also treatments?

11 Answers

Some outgrow an interdental lisp and some don't. Usually, kids need some therapy to learn to place the tongue in the correct position for speech and swallowing. You may need to look into palatal expansion for the tongue to rest in the correct position along the roof of the mouth. Talk to your dentist and talk to your pediatrician for a referral for a speech-language evaluation with an oral-myofunctional or oral-motor specialist (speech-language pathologist). But it depends on the age. You can wait until the child is at least 5 or 6.
No, your child will not outgrow a lisp as it is the result of tongue weakness and/or positioning. Your child will need to see a speech therapist to remediate this. Every child is different. Depending on the disposition of your child will depend on being made fun of or being bullied.
There are treatments available. I would suggest a speech pathologist in
private practice who specializes in pediatric speech disorders
Children some times outgrow a lisp. However there is the possibility that they won’t and need speech therapy to help them overcome this problem. Some people have a gap between there 2 front teeth which can cause this. However when their adult teeth come in the space can be gone.
As you know children can be cruel, making fun of others. If this is already happening, it would be a good idea to get some speech therapy by a certified speech therapist. Good luck !!

Just curious, was your son diagnosed with an interdental lisp by a professional? Also, that is not a deficit he will just “outgrow,” he would truly benefit from service by a trained speech-language pathologist to assist with his communication deficit. The earlier you start service, the better.
No most people do not outgrow a lisp. It needs treatment.
Unfortunately, it is not ethically or morally appropriate for me to answer this with a yes/no response. Typically, it depends on if there are any underlying reasons for the lisp or if it is habitual or more of just a sound production difficulty (articulation), etc. Many factors come into play: how old is he? Are there any other oral motor difficulties (drinking, eating, saliva), dentition, thumb sucking, etc.? I would advise reaching out for an in person oral motor exam and articulation evaluation by a licensed and certified speech therapist by either his school or an outside private practice/agency.
An interdental lisp is typically outgrown by age 5, if not then speech therapy is recommended. I would also recommend going to an ENT doctor to rule out inflamed tonsils and adenoids, which may be causing the tongue to thrust through his teeth.
I would recommend you have him evaluated and treated by a speech language pathologist. There are free youtube videos by Pam Marshalla on how to address lisp.
How old is your son? Is he missing any teeth? If so, it can create a temporary change in speech, as more air escapes through the gaps. If not, perhaps get an evaluation from a nearby SLP. You can find the closest one at ASHA.org. Good luck!


I would seek out a speech and language evaluation. Oftentimes, without speech therapy, individuals will carry the habit of interdental lisp into adulthood.

Ali Matisse, MS CCC-SLP