(Hardin-Jones M, et al., Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2020 Jan;57(1):55-64. doi: 10.1177/1055665619857000)
A recent study in the Division of Communication Disorders at the University of Wyoming has found a large degree of variability in opinions of speech-language pathologists regarding assessment and treatment of children with cleft lip and palate.
One hundred seven members of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Special Interest Group 5: Craniofacial and Velopharyngeal Disorders Special Interest Group completed a 37-item online survey that examined common practices in early intervention, opinions about speech characteristics, assessment, and management strategies for children with cleft lip and palate.
The overwhelming majority of respondents (96%) agreed that SLPs should meet with parents before palatal surgery to discuss speech-language issues. Although 90% of the SLPs identified increasing consonant inventory as an early intervention goal, there was lack of consensus regarding the type of consonant to stimulate. Respondents agreed that while blowing activities are not useful in strengthening labial, lingual, or velopharyngeal movements, they are useful in heightening awareness of oral airflow for children with cleft palate. Much variability was clear in opinions on treatment, and even prevalence, of compensatory articulations, and the effectiveness of treatment strategies designed to reduce perceived hypernasality and audible nasal emission.
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