Also known as: dysarthrosis.

What is dysarthria?

Dysarthria is a group of speech disorders that arise from problems of the nerves and/or muscles that normally give rise to normal speech (that is the ability to breathe, phonate, articulate, with normal resonance, tone and/or rhythm).

Dysarthria can vary in severity and has a variety of different causes.

What causes dysarthria?

Causes may be divided into those neurological issues that occur before birth (congenital like genetic or chromosomal abnormalities and/or developmental like spina bifida or hydrocephalus for example) or those neurological abnormalities that happen after birth: injury from infection, stroke, brain tumor or brain trauma.

What are the symptoms of dysarthria?

In infants there may be abnormalities in sucking, swallowing, with gagging drooling or choking (non-speech related abnormalities) or a variety of difficulties with the strength, accuracy, precision, smoothness and clarity of speech. It may be slurred or slow, quiet, raspy or strained, have an uneven rhythm or volume associated with difficulty moving the tongue or face.

What are dysarthria care options?

Treatment depends on the underlying cause and severity in the specific child, and not only targets each component of speech production, but also includes remediation by compensatory strategies and if necessary alternative forms of communication.

Family members under the guidance of a pediatric neurologist and speech-language pathologist may enhance the likelihood of enabling the child to achieve his/her maximum potential

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: October 10, 2023 04:10 PM

Pediatric Neurology

The Division of Pediatric Neurology is dedicated to the management and treatment of neurological disorders in babies, children and adolescents.

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