How you treat dysarthria depends on the causes of the condition, the severity, and how it affects the child’s speech. You will likely work closely with a speech-language pathologist or a pediatrician and speech therapist to develop a plan that best addresses your child’s needs.
There are no known cures for dysarthria, and in most cases, surgery and other interventions are not effective. Therapy can greatly improve the child’s ability to communicate, either through strengthening the affected muscles, learning to work around the impairment, or learning alternative ways to communicate.
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Therapy Can Teach Your Child to Communicate More Clearly
The speech-language pathologist who develops the therapy plan for your child will focus on the symptoms that make it difficult to understand your child’s speech. The exact techniques used will depend on what is causing their symptoms and the severity of them. Some of the therapy exercises may help:
- Slow down or speed up your child’s speech into a normal cadence.
- Increase the volume of speech.
- Build muscles of the mouth or throat.
- With moving the tongue and lips properly.
- With clear pronunciation.
In some cases, therapy may not significantly improve a child’s ability to speak clearly. When this occurs, the doctor or therapist may recommend using alternative communication methods, sometimes called augmentative communication. This could vary from writing or sign language to gesturing or using a computer or app to communicate.
You and other family members may also meet with the speech-language pathologist or a therapist to learn the steps you can take to help, such as learning sign language or using other tools to facilitate clear communication.
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Treatment Will Likely Focus on Your Child’s Symptoms
How you treat dysarthria will likely depend greatly on the child’s symptoms. These can be difficult for family members to identify in infants and toddlers whose condition was identified early. However, they may become more apparent as the child ages, and are generally noticeable by the preschool or kindergarten years.
Symptoms a speech-language pathologist may be able to identify and treat through therapy include:
- Slurred or mumbled speech.
- Problems with too slow or too fast speech.
- Robotic speech.
- Speech that is too soft.
- Hoarse speech or nasal speech.
- Difficulty moving the mouth, jaw, tongue, or lips.
In some cases, even with a relatively early diagnosis, children with dysarthria may require additional help when they start school. Your doctor should work with you to determine if this may be the case for your child.
If so, all children in the United States who require special accommodations are eligible for them through the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Section 504. You will work with your child’s school to create their individualized education plan based on their needs.
You May Have a Birth Injury Medical Malpractice Case
In some cases, dysarthria may occur as a result of medical malpractice. If you and your lawyer can prove your child suffered a preventable birth injury caused by medical negligence, you may be eligible to recover compensation to pay for their care and other expenses.
The damages available in a birth injury claim or lawsuit include treatment and therapy costs, additional costs related to augmented communications tools, out-of-pocket expenses, and non-economic losses such as mental anguish.
If your child has a dysarthria diagnosis, you may be able to take legal action. Each state has its own rules about how long you have after a birth injury to take the case to trial. The best way to learn about your eligibility is to discuss your child’s condition, symptoms, treatment, and causes with a medical malpractice attorney who takes on birth injury cases.
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Contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group Today
At the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, you can get help today. If your child suffered a birth injury that caused their dysarthria or other conditions, you can talk to a member of our legal team today to learn more about your rights. You may be able to build a strong enough birth injury medical malpractice case to hold the doctor or hospital accountable and recover compensation.
A free case review will allow you to speak to a representative about your child’s condition, treatment needs, and how it will likely affect them in the future. If the Birth Injury Lawyers Group believes you have a case, they may represent you on a contingency basis. Your family will not need to pay for legal representation until you receive a payout in your case.
Call (800) 222-9529 today to get started.