Severe articulation and phonological disorder as a result of a cleft palate for 3 year old

This child was referred to me by her parents and was seen for intensive speech and language therapy for 3½ years. At initial assessment she presented with delayed expressive language (use of sentences), excellent receptive language skill (understanding) but her speech was highly unintelligible.

She used a few vowels sounds, although these were not always correct, and virtually no English consonants. At intervals she was seen for twice weekly sessions and I was able to refer her for an intensive NHS therapy provision for 1 term prior to starting school as well.

At the preschool stage her parents supported all therapy activities at home, and I was able to offer termly staff training and therapy observation sessions within the Nursery setting. As she transferred into school I was able to offer training to a Teaching Assistant who could continue therapy in between our weekly sessions on a daily basis.

Therapy was therefore well coordinated and collaborative with parents and teaching staff so that as well as weekly direct sessions with me as a Therapist, this little girl had ongoing daily input for her speech on a 'little and often' basis. She had some therapy 'blocks' with NHS colleagues but parents chose to continue independent sessions alongside these.

She was also seen at a Children's Hospital and had 2 surgical repairs to her palate in the first 18 months of therapy. The therapy for this child was a very clear demonstration of the importance of children with specific speech disorders having their needs identified and supported in a timely and effective manner.

She made excellent progress with therapy input and far exceeded the expectations of Hospital Specialist Consultants, Therapists, parents and myself.

Therapy was always fun and motivating games with functional target vocabulary were always incorporated. This child was discharged aged 6½ with excellent communication skills and extremely clear speech.


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