Authors: Persson C, Lohmander A, Elander A
Title: Speech in Children With an Isolated Cleft Palate: A Longitudinal Perspective
Source: Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal 2006 43(3): 295-309
Year: 2006
Research Design: Case Series

OBJECTIVE: To describe articulation and speech symptoms related to velopharyngeal impairment in children born with an isolated cleft palate. DESIGN: Blind assessment of speech at 3, 5, 7, and 10 years of age was performed. Two subgroups were formed based on the results at age 5 years, the no-VPI group and the VPI group and they were compared with controls. SETTING: A university hospital. PATIENTS: Twenty-six children born with isolated cleft palate. Seventeen children served as controls.INTERVENTIONS: Soft palate closure at 7 months and hard palate closure at a mean age of 3 years and 11 months if the cleft extended into the hard palate. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Perceptual assessments of four variables related to velopharyngeal function and of articulation errors were performed at all ages. Phonetic transcriptions of target speech sounds were obtained at 5, 7, and 10 years and nasalance scores were obtained at age 10 years. RESULTS: The no-VPI group continued to have no or minor difficulties. The VPI group improved but continued to have moderate velopharyngeal impairment. Both groups differed significantly from the controls at age 10 years. Persistent velopharyngeal impairment, as well as glottal misarticulation, were mostly found in children with the cleft as a part of a syndrome or together with multiple malformations. CONCLUSION: Small changes in velopharyngeal impairment were found across ages. Improvement seemed to be related to surgical intervention, and persistent problems seemed to be related to the presence of additional multiple malformations or syndromes. © Allen Press Publishing Service

Access: Open Access