What is Dysarthria?

Dysarthria is difficulty with speaking resulting from poor muscle control due to weakness, slowness and word coordination. A variety of speech components may be affected: breathing, using the voice, pronunciation, airflow through the mouth/nose, inflection and intonation of speech.


What are the symptoms of Dysarthria?

What can be done to improve communication?

  • Fast or slow rate of speech
  • Unusually quiet or loud speaking voice
  • Drooling and possibly associated swallowing problems
  • Words may sound slurred or speech may sound sluggish
  • Lips and tongue may be slow in moving
  • Lips and cheeks may droop or sag
  • Lips, cheek and tongue may be weak or paralyzed
  • Lips and tongue may be difficult to move
  • Speech may not be clear enough to be understood
  • Speech may be harder to understand when tired
  • Speak one word at a time
  • Exaggerate speech production
  • Limit distractions in the room
  • Remember to take time to swallow saliva before talking
  • Keep a towel available in case drooling occurs
  • Do the oral motor exercises prescribed by the SLP (Speech-Language Pathologist)
  • Family can provide feedback to encourage clear speech and assist the patient with their exercises (more frequent practice will lead to more rapid improvement)