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Treating Dysarthria

Sometimes, treating the underlying cause of a patient's dysarthria may return speech to normal. Depending on the severity and extent of the symptoms, a speech-language pathologist may recommend treatment, which can include:

  • Exercises that can be used to strengthen the mouth and face muscles
  • Learning new ways of breaking up words or making sounds
  • Developing strategies to help compensate for symptoms (i.e., frequent pauses for breath, over-articulation or sounds and words, and pauses before important words)

Easy Things You Can Do to Help Someone with Dysarthria

  • Give the person ample time to speak.
  • Keep the conversation going, even if some words are unclear.
  • Ask the person to repeat only the words that you figure out.
  • Encourage the person to use short phrases.
  • Encourage gestures, facial expressions, and writing, as well as speaking.
  • Gentle reminders to slow down may be useful.
  • Refrain from pointing out mistakes or asking the person to correct speech.
  • Face the person when you are talking.
  • Reduce background noise in the room.
  • If the person wears dentures, make sure that they are in and fitting properly.