Each July, people around the country take the opportunity to observe National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month and improve understanding of cleft and craniofacial issues. ASHA members are an essential part of any cleft and craniofacial team, working alongside a number of fellow professionals. Check out some of the latest articles in the ASHA Journals that can help any SLP treating children with cleft lip, cleft palate, or craniofacial anomalies.

Speech Intervention in Children With Cleft Palate

Speech Intervention for Children With Cleft Palate Using Principles of Motor Learning: More than half of children with cleft palate will require speech-language pathology intervention, but there is little evidence to guide clinicians in the most effective approach for working with this population. In this article, the authors aim to determine if an articulatory kinematic speech-language pathology intervention that applies principles of motor learning is effective in improving speech errors in children with cleft palate.

Treatment of Speech Sound Errors in Cleft Palate: A Tutorial for Speech-Language Pathology Assistants: Speech-language pathology assistants (SLPAs) can play an important role in speech therapy for children with cleft lip and palate, but they may not have experience with this population. This tutorial highlights the latest evidence-based treatment approaches to improve the speech accuracy of children with cleft palate.

Speech Errors and Distortions in Cleft and Craniofacial Disorders

Validating Spectral Moment Analysis as a Quantitative Measure of Speech Distortions in Speakers With Class III Malocclusions: People with dentofacial disharmonies frequently demonstrate speech distortions before and after surgery; however, these distortions are difficult to evaluate objectively. The authors of this article examine spectral moment analysis as a way to provide valid ratings of these speech distortions.

Speech Production Errors in Children With Cleft Palate With or Without Cleft Lip: Although cleft-related speech production errors have been reported on extensively, children with cleft lip also produce other phonological errors. Learn about the individual- and treatment-level characteristics of these speech errors—and how these errors should be monitored throughout the care process.

Palate Re-Repair for Velopharyngeal Insufficiency Treatment: A Long-Term Auditory-Perceptual Assessment of Speech: Patients who exhibit velopharyngeal insufficiency after cleft palate repair may require a secondary procedure to improve velopharyngeal function. This article focuses on the effect that this re-repair can have on both velopharyngeal function and eliminating hypernasality of the voice.

Getting More Involved

ASHA’s Special Interest Groups (SIGs) provide a great opportunity to network with other professionals in your areas of interest. Members of SIG 5, Craniofacial and Velopharyngeal Disorders, can network with fellow professionals, read articles from Perspectives, and more. Last year, SIG 5 provided clinicians with a forum showcasing the latest research on the connection between cleft and craniofacial anomalies and the opioid crisis.

We hope that these articles can help you inform others and assist you in your work to help people with cleft and craniofacial issues—in July and beyond. If you’re looking for more resources, check out our previous coverage of Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness Month below!