Speech development of children with cleft palate before and after palatal surgery.

The Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association

PubMedID: 12498602

Jones CE, Chapman KL, Hardin-Jones MA. Speech development of children with cleft palate before and after palatal surgery. Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2003;40(1):19-31.
OBJECTIVE
This study examined the speech production abilities of children with cleft palate before and after palate repair. Participants: Twenty-eight children participated in the study, 14 with cleft palate and 14 without clefts matched for age, gender, and mothers' educational level.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES
Comparisons were made between the children with cleft palate before and after surgery for canonical babbling ratios, size of consonant inventories, place and manner characteristics, and early developing sounds [p, b, t, d, k, g, m, n, eta]. Also, comparisons were made between the children with cleft palate and their peers without clefts at postsurgery/17 months for the measures described above.

RESULTS
Paired t tests revealed differences in pre- and postsurgery performance of the children with cleft palate for production of canonical syllables and size of consonant inventories. Although no significant differences were noted for place and manner features, production of oral stops doubled from the time before surgery to that after surgery. Specifically, production of the bilabial stop [b] showed significant change over time. Results of independent t tests indicated no difference between groups for production of canonical syllables and size of consonant inventories at 17 months. However, significant group differences were noted for production of stops, oral stops, nasals, glides, and alveolars. The children without clefts produced more stops, oral stops, and alveolars. In contrast, more nasals and glides were seen in the vocalizations of the children with cleft palate.

CONCLUSIONS
Children with cleft palate made gains in production of canonical syllables and size of consonant inventories postsurgery; however, they continued to show deficits in production of stops and alveolar place features.