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Speech Production in Internationally Adopted Children With Unilateral Cleft Lip & Palate at Age Three

Authors AnnaKarin Larsson
Johnna Schölin
Hans Mark
Radoslava Jönsson
Christina Persson
Published in American Speech-Language-Hearing Assocation (ASHA) Convention, Philadelphia 17-19 November 2016
Publication year 2016
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Health and Rehabilitation
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Plastic Surgery
Institute of Clinical Sciences, Department of Otorhinolaryngology
Language en
Subject categories Logopedics and phoniatrics


Summary: A large number of internationally adopted children with cleft lip and palate has arrived in Sweden during the last decade. Most of the children were born in China and they most often arrived in Sweden with an unoperated palate. There is currently a lack of knowledge regarding the speech development in this group of children, who also have to deal with a late first language switch. Method: The main purpose of the present study was to study speech production in three-year-old internationally adopted children with a unilateral cleft lip and palate (UCLP) and to compare with same-age children born in Sweden with the same type of cleft. A total number of 32 children with UCLP joined the study, 14 adopted children from and 18 children born in Sweden. Both groups were treated by the same cleft palate team. The audio recordings of the protocol based 3 year old-visits at the cleft palate team, were perceptually analyzed by blinded listeners and based on word naming of 59 target words from the SVANTE (Swedish Articulation and Nasality Test). Speech production was measured with 1) percent consonants correct adjusted for age (PCC-A), 2) percent correct places (PCP), 3) percent correct manners (PCM), 4) nasal air leakage and 5) velopharyngeal competence. A speech error analysis was performed and comparisons between groups were made. Clinical implications: Internationally adopted children with UCLP showed more speech difficulties than non-adopted peers at age 3. However, the present study is limited, mainly due to the small sample sizes. Though, the results must be interpreted with caution. However, internationally adopted children may be at great risk of developing more severe speech difficulties than their non-adopted peers and should be thoroughly assessed and followed over time.

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