Dysarthria is difficulty speaking caused by problems with the muscles used in speech.
A child or adult with dysarthria may be difficult to understand. Their speech may be slurred, imprecise or quiet. In some cases the individual will only be able to produce short phrases, single words or no useful speech at all.
Acquired dysarthria (adults)
Dysarthria that occurs later in life usually results from a condition such as:
a head injury
a brain tumour
a progressive condition such as Parkinson's disease or motor neurone disease
Speech can be affected in a number of ways by the above conditions. For example:
speech can become quieter or slurred
the voice can become hoarse or strained
patients may have altered speech rhythm or have hesitations in their speech
Dysarthria can affect the person's ability to engage in everyday activities and work. They may also drool and have swallowing problems (refer to Dysphagia).