Getting Started with Dysarthria Therapy
Dysarthria is a disorder that effects speech. It is a motor speech disorder caused by muscle weakness, which can make it extremely difficult to talk. This can result in people struggling to be understood and communicate effectively.
As we talk, we use many different muscles. These muscles are located in the throat, lips, tongue and face. It is much harder to talk when these muscles are weakened, just as it would be difficult to walk with weak leg muscles. Dysarthria can occur after brain damage and present in either mild or severe forms. This condition can also occur alongside other speech and language problems. For instance, you may have difficulty getting messages from your brain in order to move your muscles. Additionally, you can have difficulty understanding what others are communicating.
Symptoms of Dysarthria
- Inability to move your tongue, lips and jaw well,
- Too slow or too fast speech,
- Slurred speech which can be difficult to understand,
- Strain when speaking,
- Jerky speech patterns,
- Lower or higher pitch than normal.
Causes of Dysarthria
- Brain Injury,
- Parkinson's disease,
- Huntington's disease,
- Cerebral palsy,
- Muscular dystrophy.
Dysarthria is caused by brain damage; it could happen at birth or be later acquired through illness or injury.
Symptoms of Dysarthria
At SpeechAim, an expert speech and language therapist will be able to evaluate your speech. This will help identify what kind of Dysarthria you are suffering from. We have extensive experience working with children and adults who struggle with speech impairments.
We will assess how well you are able to move your mouth, lips and tongue. One of our trained speech-language pathologists will assess your understanding and production of speech from single words to a conversation.
Besides this, physicians may recommend a range of tests to identify what disease could be causing your Dysarthria. These are
- Imaging tests (MRI or CT),
- Brain and Nerve Studies (to pinpoint the source of the symptoms),
- Blood and urine tests,
- Lumbar punctures,
- Brain biopsy,
Once the cause of the Dysarthria has been identified recovery can begin through extensive work with our dedicated therapists.
Speech Therapy for Dysarthria
Treatment will vary due to the severity of the Dysarthria along with its cause. Doctors may be able to treat the physical aspect, but speech and language therapy will be required to improve your ability to communicate.
At SpeechAim we will arrange an individual treatment scheme. Having met with the speech therapists they will identify your key symptoms and begin to provide recovery methods.
These therapies may include adjusting your speaking rate, increasing breath support, strengthening muscles and helping family members to communicate with you. The therapy may also include a focus on moving your lips and tongue more, practicing clear pronunciation of words and sentences.
Dysarthria can just be a minor aggravation, or it can have a more severe effect on one's ability to be understood by listeners. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, SpeechAim will incorporate other communication methods might be selected such as visual clues, gestures or an alphabet board.
Contact SpeechAim to arrange for your specific therapy programme. All of our expert staff are available around the clock to ensure that your personal needs are satisfied.