Efficacy of Early Intervention Program for Children with Cleft Lip and Palate: A Case Study

Kavya Vijayan


Cleft of lip and palate (CLP) is one of the most common deformities seen among children in India. It has been recognized that, in addition to speech impairments such as limited sound inventory, hypernasality, reduced speech intelligibility and compensatory articulation, expressive language delay is also a common feature in children with CLP. Various early intervention models have been put forward over the years and the treatment approaches vary across clinicians. The present study aims to investigate the effectiveness of parent-implemented focused linguistic stimulation approach for a toddler with CLP. A toddler aged 2.6 years who was diagnosed to have Expressive Language Delay secondary to repaired cleft of palate served as the participant for the study. The child had normal cognitive and auditory abilities. While commencing the method, a detailed evaluation was carried out to establish the baseline of the child. This was followed by a total number of 30 therapy sessions lasting 45 minutes each, wherein focused stimulation approach was demonstrated to the mother. The child’s progress was documented with audio-video recording every 10 sessions. The parameters assessed were percentage of vowels, percentage of consonants, percentage of proto words and true words in the child’s inventory. A single subject time series design was used in order to monitor the changes across the therapeutic sessions. As for the outcomes, the results indicated that there was a significant improvement in the quantity of speech sounds and true words. This provides credibility to the fact that regular intervention using focused stimulation approach is an effective way of expanding the child’s inventory in terms of vowels, consonants and vocabulary for children with CLP. The present study highlights the need of implementing the early language intervention program for young toddlers with CLP and also the effectiveness of involving mother/parent in carrying out the program.


Focused stimulation; early intervention; expressive language delay; sound inventory; vocabulary.

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