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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Speech Impediment
October 2001

Q. I am a 30-year-old male and I have a speech problem since childhood. I cannot pronounce the "R". It makes a "V" sound. I want to know whether this problem is dysarthria is it curable at this late age, and does speech therapy help in this case?

A. Dysarthria is a broad term that can include problems involving the muscles and nerves necessary for speech, swallowing, and other vital functions. Your problem seems much more focused, involving a very specific difficulty with production of one sound. You would likely benefit from evaluation by a speech pathologist. Your doctor can help you with such a referral.

HELPFUL WEBSITES:

http://www.asha.org/

http://www.asha.org/proserv/

http://www.nidcd.nih.gov/health/vsl.htm

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