What is Dysarthria?

Dysarthria is a speech disorder that affects the way you move your mouth, tongue, lips, vocal chords, diaphragm and other parts of your body that help you speak and produce sound. The movement of those muscles do not cooperate with you and it is hard to communicate because of this. This disorder does not affect a person’s intellect, but rather their motor skills to be able to speak. Others may find it difficult to understand a person suffering from dysarthria.

When a person had Dysarthria, their voice may come off as hoarse or stuffy. Dysarthria can complicate your speech in a variety of ways, this includes the following: the pitch of your voice and be either higher or lower than normal, your voice may be jerky, mumbled, soft or strained, you can speak either slower or faster than normal and lastly your voice might be flat and monotone. While it is hard to speak and produce sounds, it could also be hard for a person with dysarthria to swallow.

This speech problem can be treated with therapy, and improvements depend on the cause of the disorder. Dysarthria can be caused by any of the following: Lou Gehrig’s disease due to its effect on the brain, brain and head injury or trauma, brain tumors, cerebral palsy, Huntington’s disease, stroke and more.

How I Treat Dysarthria

Speech therapy in Denver for children with speech sound disorders includes a tactile-kinesthetic approach, increasing awareness through visual and auditory feedback, and caregiver training for home exercise. Repetition and practice at home greatly impacts the remediation of a child’s speech sound errors.

Therapy for dysarthria also includes tactile-kinesthetic approaches and increasing awareness through visual and auditory feedback. In addition, compensatory strategies may be taught such as slowing rate using pacing techniques and over-articulating. Therapy may include practical, everyday situations that improve one’s ability to carryover their strategies into the real world. Example of everyday activities include making a phone call to a loved one or ordering a cup of coffee.

To learn more about Dysarthria, click here.