A cleft is a gap or split in the upper lip (cleft lip) and/or roof of the mouth (cleft palate) where the muscles have not come together properly.
A cleft lip and / or palate affect approximately 1 in 700 babies born in the UK.
A cleft lip on its own is unlikely to cause difficulties with speech and language development. Many children born with a cleft palate (with or without a cleft lip) develop their speech and language without the need for extra help. Some children however will need extra speech and language therapy support.
What does the SLT do?
The Specialist Speech and Language Therapists in the Trent Regional Cleft Network see children born with a cleft palate across the Trent Region from the Humber and east coast of Lincolnshire to Sheffield and Leicester. This includes children from Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. We work with children from 9 months to adulthood.
We provide specialist speech assessment, speech therapy and advice to children born with a cleft palate and their families who have speech and language difficulties related to their cleft palate. The community speech and language therapy service will see children with speech, language and communication needs that are not related to their cleft palate.
We also provide a service to children and adults who may have nasal sounding speech where there is no obvious cleft palate.
We work closely with the other members of the cleft team including Cleft Plastic Surgeons, Cleft Nurses, Audiologists, Orthodontists and Ear Nose and Throat Consultants