Speech Disorders and Cleft Palate

The most common birth defect in the United States is cleft palate. One in every 600 newborns is affected by cleft palate or cleft lip, according to the Cleft Palate Foundation.

A cleft palate is an opening between the roof of the mouth and the nasal cavity. Not all cleft palates are visible to the eye. It is an anatomical defect that is the result of the soft tissues and bones in the palate failing to grow together during the mother’s pregnancy. Children with cleft palates almost always have speech problems.  Some may have swallowing problems, too, but surgery and therapy can help a child overcome their speech problems and adjust to normal communication.

Many children with cleft palate will have a speech sound disorder.  They might not be as vocal as other babies, and you may notice less babbling or talking than the average child.  Children with cleft palates may also develop speech that sounds nasal. This is because they cannot close off their nasal cavities appropriately during speech production.

Once the cleft palate has been surgically corrected, it’s important to seek help from a licensed and skilled speech and language pathologist. Speech therapy will not only assist your child by developing an appropriate sound inventory, but also help in breaking any negative or learned behaviors that were developed as a result of the cleft palate.

At the Therapy Group of Tucson, we provide speech therapy services for children who have cleft palates. By contacting us here, you can give your child the opportunity to fully overcome these disorders and develop healthy communication skills. Please let us know how we can help you.

About Kyle Meades

John Kyle Meades, CCC-SLP has practiced Speech & Language Pathology since 1993. Therapy Group of Tucson, PLLC provides private, powerful and effective speech and occupational therapy services in Tucson, AZ

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