What is dysarthria?

Dysarthria is a speech disorder. It results from impaired movement of the muscles used for speech production, including the lips, tongue, vocal folds, and/or diaphragm.

What are some signs or symptoms of dysarthria?

  • Slurred speech
  • Slow rate of speech
  • Rapid rate of speech with a "mumbling" quality
  • Reduced tongue, lip, and jaw movement
  • Abnormal pitch and rhythm when speaking

What causes dysarthria?

Dysarthria is caused by damage to the brain. This may occur at birth, as in cerebral palsy, or may occur later in life due to stroke, brain injury or neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease.

How can we help?

We will examine the movements of the lips, tongue, and jaw, as well as breath support for speaking to determine the nature and severity of the problem .   Following assessment, we will recommend appropriate exercises to treat the dysarthria.  Our therapy programme includes:

  • Increasing tongue, lip and jaw movements
  • Improving articulation/ clarity of speech production
  • Improving breath support to speak louder
  • Learning to speak at appropriate speech rate
  • Teaching family members strategies to communicate better with their loved ones with dysarthria

How effective are speech-language pathology treatments for dysarthria?

ASHA produced a treatment efficacy summary on dysarthria [http://www.asha.org/uploadedFiles/public/TESDysarthria.pdf] that describes evidence about how well treatment works.

Communication is extremely important for quality of life.  Patients with severe communication difficulties might feel frustrated or depressed.  We believe that early intervention with the right therapy and good family support is crucial to our client's recovery.