Information taken from American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA)
WHAT IS DYSARTHRIA?
Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder caused by damage to the central or peripheral nervous system. The child will have difficulty using the muscles needed to produce speech (i.e., lips, tongue, vocal folds, and/or diaphragm). The symptoms and severity of the disorder will vary depending on the damage to the nervous system.
WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF DYSARTHRIA?
Signs and symptoms of dysarthria:
- Slurred speech
- Slow rate of speech
- Rapid rate of speech with a “mumbling” quality
- Abnormal pitch when speaking
- Nasal speech
- Hoarse vocal quality
- Limited tongue lip, and jaw movement
WHAT CAUSES DYSARTHRIA?
Dysarthria is caused by damage to the brain. This can occur at birth or later in life due to damage to the nervous system. This may include but is not limited to the following:
- Brain injury
- Multiple sclerosis
- Huntington’s Disease
- Cerebral Palsy
- Muscular dystrophy
- Muscular sclerosis
OUR APPROACH AT KEY THERAPIES:
We will develop an individualized treatment plan for each child based off of his / her current needs. We may work on strengthening oral motor muscles, improving muscle movements, articulation errors and/or correcting the rate of speech. A home literacy program will be taught to help generalize progress made in therapy.