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Dysarthria

Physical Communication Cognitive Behavioural / Emotional

Dysarthria is caused by damage to the brain. This may occur at birth, as in cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, or may occur later in life due to one of many different conditions that involve the nervous system, including

  • stroke,
  • brain injury,
  • tumours,
  • Parkinson’s disease,
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease/amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS),
  • Huntington’s disease,
  • Multiple sclerosis.

Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder. It results from impaired movement of the muscles used for speech production, including the lips, tongue, vocal folds, and/or diaphragm. The type and severity of dysarthria depend on which area of the nervous system is affected.

A person with dysarthria may demonstrate the following speech characteristics:

  • “Slurred,” “choppy,” or “mumbled” speech that may be difficult to understand
  • Slow rate of speech
  • Rapid rate of speech with a “mumbling” quality
  • Limited tongue, lip, and jaw movement
  • Abnormal pitch and rhythm when speaking
  • Changes in voice quality, such as hoarse or breathy voice or speech that sounds “nasal” or “stuffy”

A speech and language therapist can evaluate a person with speech difficulties and determine the nature and severity of the problem. Treatment depends on the cause, type, and severity of the symptoms. Some possible goals of treatment include:

  • Slowing the rate of speech
  • Improving the breath support so the person can speak more loudly
  • Strengthening muscles
  • Increasing tongue and lip movement
  • Improving speech sound production so that speech is more clear
  • Teaching caregivers, family members, and teachers strategies to better communicate with the person with dysarthria
  • In severe cases, learning to use alternative means of communication (e.g., simple gestures, alphabet boards, or electronic or computer-based equipment)

"Poor parenting styles affects children's behavior; increased their learning disability; and had a negative impact on emotions; anxiety; anger management post brain injury"
Andrea Palacio-Navarro; Spain
"Rehabilitation interventions can lead to positive outcomes for children and their families if delivered in the familiar home environment and applied to everyday situations"
Cerebra; United Kingdom
"There are problems with getting people into neuro-rehab centres. Those most in need are often those most excluded due to a lack of socio-economic resources."
Vicki Anderson; Australia
"Healthy teens are better at identifying strategies to deal with barriers. KIDS WITH ABI'S CAN'T!"
Shari Wade; USA
"Positive and coordinated neuro-rehab interventions for children and young people is prove to bring health improvements; improve independence; a decline in the need for sheltered living; decreases vulnerability; decreases drop-out rates in schools; decreases youth offending"
Eric Hermans; Netherlands
"Pediatric neuro-rehabilitation cannot be delivered in isolation. The needs of the child have to be looked at both holistically and within the context of the family unit. Parents need to be empowered to be parents in post-acute pediatric neuro-rehabilitation following brain injury"
The Children's Trust; United Kingdom
"More play increases brain plasticity and makes for better recovery post brain injury"
Professor Bryan Kolb; Canada
"Thousands of children and young people living in the UK today without the help and support that can make a huge difference to their lives"
Dalton Leong; Chief Executive of the Children's Trust
"Families and professionals spend time focusing on the negative aspects of ABI. Families need to be properly supported as 'resilience' is key to delivering successful outcomes for children and young people."
Roberta De Pompeii; USA
"We would like to see earlier identification and support for children with brain injuries to help them succeed in school."
Dalton Leong; Chief Executive of the Children's Trust

OUR MISSION: To work to remove (health) inequalities for children & young people affected by acquired brain injury; and provide effective support to their families that makes a real difference.

Council for Disabled Children Lottery Funded