Myofunctional disorders are defined as a hyper-, hypo-, or malfunction of orofacial and velopharyngeal motor control involved in sucking, biting, chewing, swallowing, and speech sound articulation. Thus, myofunctional disorders are often associated with phonetic errors such as s-sound-errors ("speech disorder"). Yet, it was not proved if also phonology and language development could be affected by myofunctional disorders. Thus, data of N = 1076 children (aged 3-8 years) who were suspected for speech-language delay were analyzed. Children with sensorineurinal hearing loss, developmental delay, syndroms, or clefts did not contribute. We found that about 6% of the children with myofunctional disorders (n = 392) had significant less abilities of phonology, grammar, word capacity, and language comprehension than children without myofunctional disorders (n = 684). We also found that children with myofunctional disorders had a significantly reduced middle ear ventilation which caused periods of mild fluctuating hearing loss about 15-30 dB. We hypothesize that mild fluctuating hearing loss caused a reduction of distinct formant transmission, a loss of constancy of auditory speech input, an auditory deprivation, and subsequently, a speech-language delay. Thus, we propose early diagnostic procedures and early intervention for myofunctional disorders. To this issue, the medical subspeciality of Phoniatrics & Pedaudiology can substantially contribute.
|Translated title of the contribution||Hearing disorders and speech-language delay related to myofunctional disorders|
|Journal||Sprache Stimme Gehor|
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|