Phonological awareness, speech, and language skills in children with clefts Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Wilson, Kristina
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences
  • The purpose of this study was to examine the speech, language, and phonological awareness skills of children with cleft palate ranging in age from 4 to 6 years old. Twenty-three children with clefts were compared to a sample of 23 matched peers without clefts on standardized measures of phonological awareness, speech production, and language skill development. Paired samples t-tests did not yield statistically significant between group differences on measures of phonological awareness. Similarly, comparison of children with clefts to normative data available with phonological awareness testing measures also did not yield statistically significant differences. Further examination of the phonological awareness skills of children with clefts was conducted with regard to speech production, language skills, and hearing status. Correlational analyses revealed a positive relationship between speech production and alliteration awareness. Two measures of receptive language were found to be positively correlated to alliteration awareness and rhyme awareness. Finally, there was a positive relationship between alliteration awareness and the number of recent ear infections a child had experienced. The results of this study suggest children with clefts demonstrate phonological awareness skills that are similar to their peers. Given the relationship identified between phonological awareness skills and receptive language skills, practitioners working with children with clefts should not only continue to monitor the speech production skills of children with clefts, but also assess language development and phonological awareness in order to ensure these children have the skills to become strong readers.
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  • In Copyright
  • Erickson, Karen A.
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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