It is important for both the person with dysarthria and the people he or she communicates with to work together to improve interactions. Here are some tips for both speaker and listener.

Tips for the Person WITH Dysarthria:

  • Introduce your topic with a single word or short phrase before beginning to speak in more complete sentences.
  • Check with the listeners to make sure that they understand you.
  • Speak slowly and loudly and pause frequently.
  • Try to limit conversations when you feel tired—when your speech will be harder to understand.
  • If you become frustrated, try to use other methods, such as pointing or gesturing, to get your message across or take a rest and try again later.

Tips for the Listener:

  • Reduce distractions and background noise.
  • Pay attention to the speaker.
  • Watch the person as he or she talks.
  • Let the speaker know when you have difficulty understanding him or her.
  • Repeat only the part of the message that you understood so that the speaker does not have to repeat the entire message.
  • If you still don’t understand the message, ask yes/no questions or have the speaker write his or her message to you.