Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip: Defect in Infants Essay

Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip: Defect in Infants Essay

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Cleft Palate and Cleft Lip is one of the most common facial defects in infants. However, surgery can correct either defect or both. Scientists believe that environmental and genetic factors though don’t have a specific cause in which they can prevent Cleft Palate or Lip to occur. “Cleft Palate is a split or opening in the roof of the mouth, and can involve the hard palate and/or the soft palate… Cleft Lip is the physical split or separation of the two sides of the upper lip and appears as a narrow opening or gap in the skin of the upper lip. Often the separation extends beyond the base of the nose and includes the bones of the upper jaw and/or upper gum” ("Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate: Causes and Treatments", n.d.). Typically, the fuse of the lip and palate happen during the first months of development as an embryo. As listed above, the causes are unknown, though have seen impacts from environmental factors including cigarette and alcohol during pregnancy. There is also the possibility that cleft is inherited through genetics.
Though scientists don’t know the cause of cleft palate or cleft lip, they have developed a way to correct speech within these individuals through surgery in the patients early years, about 1-2 years old at best. Not every individual is able to afford the medical surgery for such a defect since there are multiple surgeries that go into correcting it. With this being the case, many suffer from speech disorders. The speech disorders are geared towards phonology with stress on articulation, along with morphology and semantics.
The main speech disorder that is seen in individuals with Cleft Palate and/or Cleft Lip is phonology. Children with Cleft Palate begin to be delayed in speech from the very beginning. Due ...


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... palate and/or lip, by the age of 5, are “normal” and have caught up with their peers. It is very rare to see a child with cleft palate and/or lip in school, though educators may still see delays in fluency and articulation. Many of the delays are corrected through speech therapy and surgery. Beginning both therapy and surgery at a very young age allows the child to develop speech and language around the age of 5. Early intervention allows the child with cleft palate and/or lip to develop “constant inventory, especially pressure constants; vocabulary; and oral airflow” (Hardin-Jones, Chapman & Scherer, 2006). Each intervention is different and geared towards the child. “They are jigsaw puzzles with every piece…” (Mosheim, 2012) in which we are to try to figure out how to put the pieces together to create speech and language for children with cleft palate and/or lip.

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