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Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder which makes muscles weak or hard to control. It can be the result of a developmental disorder, or other conditions related to the brain such as a stroke or brain injury. It often occurs with other speech and language problems such as apraxia or aphasia.


Dysarthria can present in many different ways:

  • "Slurred" or "mumbled" speech that can be hard to understand.

  • Limited ability to move tongue, lips, and jaw.

  • Speech that is too slow, or too fast.

  • Low vocal volume.

  • Voice that sounds "robotic", choppy, hoarse, breathy, or too nasal.


Therapeutic techniques vary depending on the type of dysarthria and how severe it is, but may include:

  • Slowing rate of speech.

  • Breath work to increase vocal volume.

  • Exercises to improve strength, range of motion, and control of muscles.

  • Practicing speech sounds in words and sentences.

  • Using other ways to communicate, like gestures, writing, or using computers. This is augmentative and alternative communication, (AAC).

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (n.d.). Dysarthria (Practice Portal). Retrieved Jan, 18th, 2023, from Dysarthria in Adults (

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