Original Research

Language development of the cleft palate child

Loretta Horn
South African Journal of Communication Disorders | Journal of the South African Speech and Hearing Association: Vol 19, No 1 | a414 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajcd.v19i1.414 | © 2019 Loretta Horn | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 November 2016 | Published: 31 December 1972

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Loretta Horn, Speech Therapy Department, General Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Abstract

The ITPA was used in an assessment of the psycholinguistic abilities of three cleft palate children and three matched normal children, of ages ranging from 48 months to 66 months. The data obtained revealed that the cleft palate children manifested a general depression in those areas sampled by the ITPA, in particular in areas testing expressive abilities.
A transformational analysis of the language samples of the cleft palate children showed the relative immaturity of the syntactic structures used by these children.
In spite of the limitations of this study, there was a clear indication of a language retardation in the cleft palate group. Several factors present in the early development of cleft palate children could adversely affect the acquisition of language skills. The implications of these findings for speech therapy are important.

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