Speech Therapy

Dysarthria Treatment – Diagnosis And Important Tips

It is a motor speech disorder caused by the muscular impairment. The lack of coordination, weakness, or slowness of muscles involved in the process of speaking. Dysarthria Treatment can help improve the phonation, respiration, articulation, prosody, and resonance which are adversely affected by the condition. Depending upon the cause, the severity of the reason and the damage to the nervous system dysarthria treatment is designed.

How Is The Condition Diagnosed?
The study of the causes of this condition is done by a speech and language pathologist who examines the person and determines the reasons. Also, a therapist determines whether the speech disorder is caused by apraxia – inability to perform purposeful movements, dysarthria or both.

CT scan, lumbar puncture, brain biopsy, MRI, ECG, blood and urine tests, and many other neuropsychological tests are done to diagnose the condition.

How Is It Treated?
Once the cause of the condition is identified, the severity of the damage to the nervous system is determined, and the type of condition is decided, the therapist designs an appropriate treatment.

Types Of Dysarthria:
There are six types of dysarthria, each a affecting a different location of the brain. Once the type of condition is identified it helps the pathologist with the treatment.

1. Flaccid
2. Spastic
3. Flaccid & Spastic Mixed
4. Ataxic
5. Hypokinetic
6. Hyperkinetic

Goal Of Treatment:

  • Certain exercises are designed to improve the muscular function of the mouth and to strengthen these muscles.
  • Improves breathing, and reduces the speed.
  • It increases the coordination of jaw, lip, mouth, and other muscles involved in the process.
  • It improves the quality of voice and sound.
  • It treats the underlying causes.
  • It teaches the family, friends, care givers, and school personnel to practice certain strategies while communicating with
    these people.
  • Improve articulation.
  • Improves the sound quality.
  • And in severe cases it encourages alternative modes of communication.

Tips For The Person Suffering From The Condition:

  • Talk slowly and do not force yourself to use lengthy sentences.
  • Start with simple expressions or with one word.
  • Speak slowly, loudly, and clearly.
  • Take pauses frequently to be clear, and ask the other person if he is able to understand you.
  • When tired, limit the conversations and tell the other person how you feel.

Tips For Others When Talking To A Person With Dysarthria:

  • Try and focus more on the speech than on the other noises in the background.
  • If you do not understand the person clearly then let him/her know about it.
  • Watch the person when speaking; this will help you in understanding him/her better.
  • Repeat and confirm the message to know if the message you understood is right.
  • If he or she is difficult to understand then ask yes or no questions.
  • If you still finding it hard to follow then ask him/her to write it down or gesture it.

These are some of the steps for dysarthria treatment aimed at improving the life of the patient and those around him or her.

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