Brush Up on Your Knowlege of Cleft Palates with Great Web Resources


cleft palate types


You may already be familiar with what a cleft palate is; perhaps you’ve seen pictures, learned about it in class or know someone with a cleft palate. But treating speech disorders that come with a cleft palates can be hard because a cleft palate brings about a host of variables that make sound production challenging. A cleft palate is a birth defect that can affect the lip, soft or hard palate to varying degrees. It is important to know how the defect arises, treatment options for repair and what an SLP can do in therapy because these defects can be quite complicated to treat. Get to know this disorder with the following web resources:

When learning more about any communication disorder it is essential that any SLP visit the American Speech Language Hearing Association website (ASHA) for evidence based research and clinical considerations. According to ASHA, the following are communication manifestations one might see in a child with a craniofacial syndrome:

  • Cleft palate and velopharyngeal dysfunction cause communication disorders in many different ways (articulation, resonance, voice, and language)
  • Children born with palatal clefts are at high risk for speech/language delay and speech problems related to palatal insufficiency
    Individuals with cleft palate, including those with adequate velopharyngeal function, are at high risk for disordered lingual articulation
  • Language abilities, particularly expressive language, may be delayed in children with cleft palate
  • Babbling patterns of children with cleft palate reveal delay and differences from the normal pattern of development. Deviant phonetic patterns may persist in the speech of older children with cleft palate
  • Middle ear disease is present at birth in most infants with cleft palate, but there is probably no increased risk when only cleft lip is present.
  • Otitis media with effusion is a common finding in children with cleft palate


doctor and child with cleft palate


To learn more about cleft lip and palate, visit Smiletrain’s website for why and how untreated cleft lip and palate can cause life long disorders.


The official website of the American Cleft Palate Association offers great information for SLPs and parents including: team standards for improving and coordinating care for children with a cleft palate and insurance approval information and strategies for getting services covered


Judith Kuster has put together a wealth of resources for cranio-facial anomolies including: assessment of resonance disorders, screening protocols for SLPs, treatment resources for addressing speech and feeding challenge


Visualize the anatomy of a cleft lip and palate by visiting the before and after image gallery at the Cleft Lip and Palate Association website.


Learn about speech development and concerns in cleft palate by visiting

child with cleft


Parent's Guide to Speech & Communication Challenges
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