Speech and communication disorders in children and adolescents with velopharyngeal dysfunction and non-syndromic craniosynostosis.

Research project
Active research
Project owner
Institute of neuroscience and physiology

Short description

There are mainly two types of speech problems in individuals with velopharyngeal dysfunction (e.g. cleft palate); articulation (related to place and manner of speech sounds) and nasality as a consequence of reduced velopharyngeal closure. These difficulties can lead to reduced intelligibility, ie an inability to make oneself understood. We are studying these speech problems in different groups of children, adolescents and young adults.


  • The Scandcleft trial is a collaboration between 10 cleft centers in five countries. One of these center is the cleft team at Sahlgrenska university hospital. This prospective randomized trial investigates the outcome in children with a unilateral cleft lip and palate operated on with four different surgical methods. Speech outcome from age 5 is published while outcome at 10 are work in progress.
  • In the TOPS trial (Timing of primary surgery for cleft palate) is an international prospective randomized trial including children born with an isolated cleft palate. The aim of the trial is to determine whether surgery for cleft palate performed at 6 or 12 months of age is most beneficial for speech outcomes. The sponsor is University of Manchester and University of Liverpool is data coordinating center. Children from 23 cleft center in five countries participates. Data collection is closed.
  • Speech and language in international adopted children with unilateral cleft lip and palate – longitudinal perspectives on speech production and language ability. This project was a part of AnnaKarin Larssons PhD thesis (defended June 2020). The latter part of the project is still ongoing. The project is done in collaboration with the Plastic surgery department, Sahlgrenska University Hospital.
  • One of the most common symptoms of 22q11.2 deletion syndrome (22q11DS) is speech- and language difficulties. We have an ongoing comparative study of speech including adults with 22q11DS, adults born with an isolated cleft palate and a control group without any known speech problems.
  • Speech and language development and reading ability in children born with different types of non-syndromic craniosynostosis is studied in a PhD project (Justin Weinfeld). This is a collaborative project with the craniofacial team at Sahlgrenska university hospital.