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Speech therapy for cleft palate, Part Two: Treatment

We all had that one course in grad school that reviewed clefts and maybe touched on what we’re supposed to do for all the speech issues they can cause. Need a refresher? Here’s your rundown, including some of the current evidence and resources to help you get started with high-quality interventions and therapy techniques for kids with cleft palate. 

July 11, 2023

Remind me, what are the cleft-related speech characteristics I should be treating?


If you read Part 1 in this series, we summarized the key speech errors you’re likely to encounter in patients with cleft palate. As a refresher, we classify cleft-related speech errors as active (anterior, posterior, nonoral sound substitutions) or passive. To get the most bang for our therapeutic bucks, we need to focus on knowing what these different errors sound like and remediate the active speech errors!


Glottal stops and nasal fricatives fall under the nonoral speech errors category and are some of the most common nonoral errors.


Characteristics of cleft speech, The Informed SLP
Amanda Dreier, MS, CCC-SLP


Where does speech therapy fit in? What therapy approaches should I use?


Children with cleft palate have articulatory deficits with phonological consequences (Grunwell and Harding,1995). Therefore, both motor-phonetic and linguistic-phonological speech interventions can be helpful, although Alighieri et al. (2020) found that…

Looking for more resources? 


Don't forget to read Part 1 of this series about assessing speech and resonance in children with clefts, understanding velopharyngeal dysfunction, and making appropriate referrals to cleft teams.

But if you need more on treatment, here’s a list of all of the evidence cited in this review!


Therapy Methods, Techniques, and Tools:

TISLP Research Reviews to Read: 

 Textbooks & Online Resources:

Retrieved from theinformedslp.com on 10/03/2023. The unauthorized copying, sharing or distribution of this copyrighted material is strictly prohibited.

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