Symptoms and causes

What is it?

Dysarthria is an acquired motor speech disorder caused by a neurological disorder.

We will briefly explain the main terms of this definition:

  • Acquired: unlike congenital or developmental disorders, the person with dysarthria had normal speech prior to the onset of the disorder.
  • Motoric disorder: there is a problem with the motoric execution of the movements needed to produce speech. As a result, the person may have problems with, among other things, breathing, voice, articulation, resonance, speaking rhythm and intonation of speech.
  • Speech disorder: the intelligibility or naturalness of speech is impaired, other aspects of communication (understanding, reading, writing) are basically normal.
  • As a result of a neurological disorder: a dysarthria is always the result of a disease or disorder of the nervous system, the nature and severity of the disease determines to a large extent the evolution that can be expected.

Diagnosis and treatment

The speech therapist is responsible for the examination, treatment and supervision of persons with dysarthria (and their environment).

The severity of the dysarthria largely determines the main objective of the treatment. In mild to moderate speech impairments, the focus of the treatment is often on improving speech and/or maximising intelligibility.

In the case of severely impaired speech intelligibility, the treatment is aimed at improving communication rather than speech. The speech therapist always takes recent scientific guidelines into account when determining therapy objectives. In addition, the person and his/her immediate environment are involved in determining the content of the treatment. Logopaedic treatment for dysarthria is therefore always individually adapted.

Treatment centres and specialisations

Latest publication date: 05/02/2021