The purpose of this study was to compare early speech and language development of children with and without cleft lip and/or palate (CLP) in the US and Slovakia from 6 to 24 months of age. Thirty-two children from the US (eight with CLP and eight noncleft) and Slovakia (eight with CLP and eight noncleft) participated in this study. The children were videotaped at four time points for 30 minutes during mother-child interaction with play sets controlled for early-developing sounds in each language. Mean Babbling Level, consonant inventories, number of different words and mean length of utterance were calculated for 6- to 24-month samples. Results indicated that the US and Slovak groups showed similar performance across the ages. Cleft and noncleft groups showed significant differences in acquisition of all of the speech and language measures. High-pressure consonants, particularly alveolar place of articulation, were problematic for children with CLP.
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