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Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder resulting from paralysis, weakness, spasticity or incoordination of the speech musculature.

Common causes include neurological disorders such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, brain tumor, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and multiple sclerosis (MS) as well as peripheral nerve damage and certain medications. Multiple speech subsystems including respiration, phonation, resonance, prosody and articulation can be affected, and the type of dysarthria a person has depends on which systems are involved and the extent and location of the damage.

Signs and Symptoms of Dysarthria May Include

  • Slurred speech

  • Slow rate of speech

  • Rapid rate of speech

  • Breathy, hoarse or strained voice quality

  • Hyper- or hypo- nasality

  • Monotone

  • Uneven speech volume

  • Inability to speak above a whisper

  • Abnormal intonation

  • Difficulty moving lips, tongue and jaw and facial muscles.

  • Drooling

  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)

Dysarthria Treatment

Treatment depends on the type and severity of dysarthria. In addition, dysarthria may co-occur with apraxia of speech and both must be addressed. Ultimately, the goal of dysarthria treatment is to improve overall speech intelligibility. In more severe cases, augmentative communication devices including communication boards and electronic/computer devices may be necessary. 

Client Testimonial

I started working with Monica Lowy, after I was diagnosed with voice dysphonia. I can’t say enough good things about her! Amazing all around. Monica is very attentive especially when it comes to teaching different techniques that work for each individual. She is very compassionate, professional and has a lot patience. She educated me about all the moving parts in my vocal anatomy, not to mention the body work she taught me to help with my breathing when using my vocals. I’m not a singer, just wanted to be heard clear without putting forth so much strain and energy when having a conversation. I can’t tell you how good It feels when people don’t constantly ask me to repeat myself but also having a healthy Larynx feels great. Monica is a true healer and now I can honestly say my voice is fully restored. I would recommend her to anyone who needs this kind of specialist. Very pleased and grateful to have worked with her! I really looked forward to going to see her every week. 

--Asha O., New York, NY

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