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Speech errors in children with cleft palate (Lien et al., 2023)

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posted on 2023-02-14, 16:38 authored by Kari M. Lien, Nancy J. Scherer, Kelly Nett Cordero, Thomas J. Sitzman

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to describe the frequency of speech production errors in children with cleft palate with or without cleft lip (CP±L) and explore characteristics related to speech production errors.

Method: Fifty-six children with nonsyndromic CP±L between the ages of 4;0 and 7;11 (years;months) were included in this study. The children’s audio-recorded production of a sentence repetition task was transcribed using narrow transcription and coded for speech error type.

Results: Children used, on average, 18 speech errors during the sentence repetition task that sampled 59 phoneme targets. On average, phonological errors were used most frequently, with nine errors per sample, followed by anterior oral speech errors at four errors per sample, and non-oral compensatory errors at three errors per sample. Individual-level characteristics including age and cleft type were related to frequency of phonological errors and anterior oral speech errors, respectively. One treatment-level characteristic, hypernasality, was related to use of non-oral compensatory errors and passive speech errors.

Conclusions: This study identified the most frequent speech production errors as phonological errors, followed by anterior oral speech errors and non-oral compensatory errors. Individual-level and treatment-level characteristics were related to speech production errors. Future research should explore additional characteristics that may influence use of speech production errors. Clinically, this study adds information regarding speech error types that should be monitored throughout cleft care, including phonological errors that were most prevalent among this sample.

Supplemental Material S1. Articulation disorder status and associated speech error frequency.

Lien, K. M., Scherer, N. J., Cordero, K. N., & Sitzman, T. J. (2023). Speech production errors in children with cleft palate with or without cleft lip. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 66(3), 849–862.


This work was supported by the Graduate College Completion Fellowship at Arizona State University.