Speech Therapy

Treating A Cleft Palate

Palatoschisis or a cleft palate is an anomaly that develops during the development of foetus. A cleft palate is often an abnormal deformity that occurs in the face during a foetus’s development. A cleft is usually a gap. A cleft palate would result in a disjoint of the facial features even before the baby is born.

In most cases, treating a cleft palate often involves a surgery. Post surgery speech therapy would also be essential for dealing with cleft lip speech disorders.

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Treating a Cleft Palate: Usually after a child undergoes a surgery, he/she has to be placed in a rehab. During rehabilitation, the child has to take speech therapy to deal with cleft palate speech problems. Let us observe the steps involved in treatment post a surgery.

Post-Surgery Speech Problem: Often after undergoing a cleft palate surgery, a child would develop hypernasality.

  • When a child suffers from hypernasality, his speech is often obstructed and becomes inaudible to the listener because of the air that blows out of his/her nose. A child would find it very difficult to socialise upon having such a problem.
  • The main reason for the cause of hypernasality is due to the inadequacy of the surgery alone.
  • Hypernasality can be resolved with the help of speech therapy.

Speech Therapy Requirement: According to a survey, it has been observed that almost 6-10 percent children find the development of English sounds and speech very hard and most of them require a speech therapy to correct this.

  • If a normal child with no facial deformities like cleft palate would face articulation problems, it is quiet evident that people who undergo a cleft palate surgery would definitely need the the help of speech therapy.
  • Also, children who possess cleft lips tend to develop compensatory articulations. In compensatory articulations, the sounds tend to come from the back of the mouth making the speech very unclear.
  • Snorting would also be an issue and if not treated in time would render the child’s speech incoherent and unclear.

Speech Therapy: A speech therapy would make use of the usual oral motor activities like blowing, sucking a straw et that would enable improve the muscle strength around the lips. The strengthening of lip muscles would help decrease hypernasality.

  • Non-orthodox speech therapy techniques like talking loudly, frequent mouth opening while conversing are also tried to help improve hypernasality.

Treating a cleft palate is not a problem, provided the surgery is done at a very early age during childhood. But, the effects of speech therapy for speech improvement is only a matter of trial and error.

2 responses to Treating A Cleft Palate

  1. My sister-in-law is a speech therapist and has helped children with cleft palate. Sometimes, it can be heartbreaking. I go to smile train to help any way I can, it’s a great organization.

  2. I m 33yrs old from india .with operated cleft palate .doctors opinion r very different about corretion in voice tone even after speech therapy at this perticular age.so i want disability cerificate because of speech i m not getting a job in private sector .i m not emotionally blackmailing to anybody if anyone thinking like this then they r fool .because how we r leaving life we know nobody know.thanks pl reply.

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