Dysarthria Treatment at Language Fundamentals

Dysarthria is a condition in which the muscles you use for speech are weak or you have difficulty controlling them. Dysarthria often is characterized by slurred or slow speech that can be difficult to understand.

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Common causes of dysarthria include nervous system (neurological) disorders such as stroke, brain injury, brain tumors, and conditions that cause facial paralysis or tongue or throat muscle weakness. Certain medications also can cause dysarthria.

Dysarthria treatment is directed at treating the underlying cause of your condition when possible, which may improve your speech. You may have speech therapy to help improve speech. For dysarthria caused by prescription medications, changing or discontinuing the medications may help.

Signs and symptoms of dysarthria vary, depending on the underlying cause and the type of dysarthria, and may include:

  • Slurred speech

  • Slow speech

  • Inability to speak louder than a whisper or speaking too loudly

  • Rapid speech that is difficult to understand

  • Nasal, raspy or strained voice

  • Uneven or abnormal speech rhythm

  • Uneven speech volume

  • Monotone speech

  • Difficulty moving your tongue or facial muscles

Language Fundamentals Speech Language Pathologists provide speech and language therapy to help you regain normal speech and improve communication. The speech therapy goals might include adjusting speech rate, strengthening muscles, increasing breath support, improving articulation and helping family members communicate with the patient.

If the Dysarthria is severely pronounced, the speech-language pathologist may recommend other communication methods (augmentative and alternative communication systems) to help the person communicate, if speech and language therapy isn't effective. These communication methods could include visual cues, gestures, an alphabet board or computer-based technology.