• Dysarthria is a motor speech disorder in which muscles of the mouth, face, and respiratory system may become weak, move slowly, or not move at all after a stroke or other brain injury.
  • The type and severity of dysarthria depends on which area of the nervous system is affected.

Signs & Symptoms:

  • Slurred speech
  • Speaking softly or barely able to whisper
  • Slow rate of speech
  • Rapid rate of speech with a mumbling quality
  • Nasal sounds (like the individual is talking out of his or her nose)
  • Limited tongue, lip, and jaw movement
  • Abnormal intonation (rhythm) when speaking
  • Changes in vocal quality (“nasal” speech or sounding “stuffy”)
  • Muscle weakness or tightness


  • Congenital of acquired
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Other neurological diseases and injuries

Tips for Better Communication:

  • Reduce distractions and background noise
  • Pay close attention to the speaker
  • Watch the individual's face/lips as he or she talks
  • Let the speaker know when you have difficulty understanding what he or she is saying. Repeat back only the part of the message that you understand so the speaker does not have to repeat the entire message. If you still do not understand the message, ask questions that can be answered with a "yes" or "no."
  • Ask the speaker to identify new topics when he or she swithces topics