DysarthriaMar 08, 2023
Dysarthria is a condition that affects the muscles used for speech. It can cause slurred, slow, or difficult-to-understand speech. Dysarthria can be caused by a variety of neurological and neuromuscular conditions, such as stroke, Parkinson's disease, and cerebral palsy. It can also be caused by head injury, brain tumors, or vocal cord paralysis.
People with dysarthria have difficulty controlling the muscles used for speaking, which can make it difficult to produce clear speech. Symptoms of dysarthria include slurred speech, slow or labored speech, hoarseness, or imprecise articulation. In addition, people with dysarthria may also experience difficulty with breathing, coughing, or swallowing.
Treatment for dysarthria typically involves speech therapy. A speech-language pathologist (SLP) will work with the individual to help improve their speech. The SLP may use a variety of techniques, such as vocal exercises, breathing exercises, and articulation exercises, to help the individual learn to use their voice more effectively. In some cases, medications or assistive devices may be used to help the individual with dysarthria.
It's important to note that dysarthria is not a sign of intellectual disability. People with dysarthria can still communicate effectively and have meaningful conversations with their friends, family, and peers. There are also a variety of resources and support groups available to help people with dysarthria. With the right support and treatment, people with dysarthria can lead happy and fulfilling lives.
If you or someone you know is struggling with dysarthria, it is important to get help from a qualified speech-language pathologist. The sooner you seek help, the better the outcome can be. With the right treatment, people with dysarthria can improve their communication abilities and lead full and productive lives.
Nancy Wariari, MHA, MS.CCC-SLP