Children with cleft palates often suffer from chronic conductive hearing losses, delayed language acquisition and speech disorders. This study presents results of speech and language outcomes in relation to hearing function and types of palatal malformations found. 417 children with cleft palates were examined during followup evaluations that extended over several years. Disorders were studied as they affected the ears, nose and throat, audiometry and speech and language pathology. Children with isolated cleft lips were excluded. Among the total group, 8% had normal speech and language development while 92% had speech or language disorders. 80% of these latter children had hearing problems that predominantly consisted of fluctuating conductive hearing losses caused by otitis media with effusion. 5% had sensorineural hearing losses. Fifty-eight children (14%) with rhinolalia aperta were not improved by speech therapy and required velopharyngoplasties, using a cranial-based pharyngeal flap. Language skills did not depend on the type of cleft palate presents but on the frequency and amount of hearing loss found. Otomicroscopy and audiometric follow-ups with insertions of ventilation tubes were considered to be most important for language development in those children with repeated middle ear infections. Speech or language therapy was necessary in 49% of the children.
|Translated title of the contribution||Hearing function and language skills of 417 children with cleft palates|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 1994|