Helping Loved Ones with Dysarthria

Dysarthria is an articulation disorder caused by weakness of the oral muscles including the jaw, lips, tongue and palate. As you can imagine, communicating with a loved one who has Dysarthria can be difficult.  Here are a few tips for dealing with Dysarthria:

•Give the person extended time to talk. Do your best to be patient.

•If you can’t understand their speech, encourage other means of communicating such as, writing the message, pointing to objects or pictures, or by making gestures.

•Always look at the person’s lips and face, to get additional  visual information.

•Remind the person to speak slowly and exaggerate each sound.

•If unsure of what the person said, you can repeat the information back to them to confirm the message.

•Be respectful. Remember that the person is an adult with a speech disorder.

•Hold conversations in a place with no distractions.

•Always present a positive attitude.

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