Original Research

Early communication functioning of infants with cleft lip and palate

Alta Kritzinger, Brenda Louw, René Hugo
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Vol 43, No 1 | a240 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v43i1.240 | © 2019 Alta Kritzinger, Brenda Louw, René Hugo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 14 October 2016 | Published: 31 December 1996

About the author(s)

Alta Kritzinger, Centre for Early Intervention in Communication Pathology, Department of Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
Brenda Louw, Centre for Early Intervention in Communication Pathology, Department of Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa
René Hugo, Centre for Early Intervention in Communication Pathology, Department of Communication Pathology, University of Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

This study investigated the early communication functioning and hearing abilities of 44 infants with cleft lip and palate, ages 3 to 31 months old. The results revealed that 64% of the subjects had a history of recurrent otitis media with effusion and 33% displayed associated anomalies. 26% of the subjects had mild hearing losses and middle ear pathology at the time of data collection. The subjects as a group displayed average developmental levels for perceptual-cognitive, socio-personal and receptive language skills, but a limited phonetic repertoire and a statistically significant expressive language delay. The results indicated that the subjects experienced a motor developmental delay, but this was not statistically significant. The implications for early communication intervention are to conduct regular hearing measurements and to conduct regular parent-centered therapy with individualized home programmes. Efforts should be directed towards expanding early communication intervention services to include all infants with cleft lip and palate in South Africa.

Keywords

cleft lip and palate infants; risk factors; early communication development; early intervention

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