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Cleft Palate Analysis

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With a prevalence of about 1 to 2 out of 1,000 births, cleft lip and palate are among the most common birth defects (Robin et al., 2006). The disorder can be isolated or be a feature of a syndrome as a result of environmental and/or genetic factors (Nagarajan et al., 2009). However, cleft lip and cleft palate most commonly occur as isolated birth defects (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2015). The defect can be seen as just a cleft palate (CPA), or as a cleft lip with or without a cleft palate (CLP) (Robin et al., 2006).
CLP is characterized by openings or splits in the lip and/or hard and soft palates. The tissues that form the lip and palate fuse during the second and third months of pregnancy; however, in individuals with CLP, the fusion occurs only
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Speech sounds that require pressure, such as stops, fricatives, and affricates, are most affected by CLP. Articulation deficits are caused by the abnormalities of the oronasal and orofacial structure and function and by the learned neuromotor compensatory strategies learned through growth and development (Nagarajan et al., 2009). Types of errors in speech caused by a cleft are classified as either obligatory or compensatory. Obligatory are characterized by structural abnormalities that alter the manner of articulation. These abnormalities, such as an oronasal fistula or misaligned teeth, cannot be corrected through speech therapy until the structural problem is remedied. Compensatory errors, on the other hand, can be targeted and improved through speech therapy. The individual with the CLP learns the compensatory errors in development by incorrectly adapting the articulatory placement of speech sounds to compensate for their structural abnormalities (Nagarajan et al., 2009). For example, the individual may produce /p/ more posteriorly like /k/ because the cleft lip does not allow for lip closure or the correct production of…show more content…
This approach is targeted through settings called multidisciplinary cleft clinic (MCC). An individual with CLP can visit this type of clinic and receive specialized care in one visit from a multitude of specialists, such as audiologists, craniofacial surgeon, geneticist, neurosurgeons, nurses, occupational therapists, pediatricians, dentists, radiologists, physical therapists, plastic surgeons, and SLPs (Robin et al., 2006). The MCC will have one clinic director and coordinator to oversee the cohesive evaluation and management of the individual and facilitating communication between all of the specialists, caregivers, and the primary care physician. The sooner intervention is started the better the outcome. The MCC is team approach is the optimal care for
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