You may need to be referred to a speech and language therapist for testing and treatment. Special skills you may learn include:
- Safe chewing or swallowing techniques, if needed
- To avoid conversations when you are tired
- To repeat sounds over and over again so you can learn mouth movements
- To speak slowly, use a louder voice, and pause to make sure other people understand
- What to do when you feel frustrated while speaking
You can use many different devices or techniques to help with speech, such as:
- Computers to type out words
- Flip cards with words or symbols
- Special computer programs that allow you to create spoken words by typing words or clicking on symbols
It’s important to maintain a relaxed, calm environment. Reduce noise, music, and other stimuli during communication.
A few surgical techniques may help people with ALS and dysarthria.
Depending on the cause of dysarthria, symptoms may improve, stay the same, or get worse slowly or quickly.
- Patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease) eventually lose the ability to speak.
- Few people with Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis lose the ability to speak.
- Dysarthria caused by medication or poorly fitting dentures can be reversed.
- Dysarthria caused by a stroke or brain injury will not get worse, and may improve.
- Dysarthria after surgery to the tongue or voice box should not get worse, and may improve with therapy. The severity of dysarthria depends on what type and how much tissue was removed.
- Pneumonia caused by breathing in saliva or food
- Low self-esteem
- Social problems
Calling Your Health Care Provider
Call your health care provider if you have:
- Chest pain, chills, fever, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of pneumonia
- Coughing or choking
- Difficulty speaking to or communicating with other people
- Feelings of sadness or depression
Dysarthria : Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
Dysarthria : Symptoms & Signs, Diagnosis & Tests
Dysarthria : Treatment
Review Date : 7/10/2009
Reviewed By : Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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