Motor speech disorders are problems affecting the coordination or control of the muscles for speech, including the tongue, lips and jaw.
Muscles may be weak or difficult to control, referred to as dysarthria, or the brain may have difficulty sending messages to the muscles to make them move for speech, referred to as apraxia of speech.
Motor speech disorders make it difficult to form the right sounds when you speak, even though you may know exactly what you want to say.
Motor speech impairments can be caused by things like:
- Neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis or MND
- Head injury
- Head and neck cancer
You may be experiencing dysarthria or apraxia of speech if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Slurred speech
- Speaking too quickly or too slowly
- Difficulty moving the lips, tongue and jaw for speaking
- Unusual nasality or difficulty controlling the pitch of your voice
- Difficulty imitating sounds, or saying the right sounds in words
- Groping: when you try to move your tongue and lips to get them in the right place for words
Speech pathologists are trained to assess and manage motor speech disorders.
At ENT Ballarat, Stephanie will conduct a thorough assessment of your speech and provide evidence-based therapy to help you to move the muscles for speech to improve the clarity and naturalness of your speech.