Effect of early intervention on consonant inventory in toddlers with cleft palate

Line Dahl Jørgensen, Elisabeth Willadsen

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftAbstraktForskningpeer review


Background and aim: Toddlers with CP as a group have smaller productive vocabularies and restricted consonant inventories than their peers without CP (see Chapman & Willadsen, 2011), and early intervention is often recommended for toddlers with CP. Nonetheless, early interventions have mainly targeted vocabulary and not consonant inventory as it is presumed that word-learning is facilitated when target words contain word-initial sounds within a toddler's inventory because of lexical selectivity. Scherer and colleagues (1999; 2008) showed that language-delayed toddlers with CP learned target words with sounds outside their inventory to the same extent as words containing within-inventory sounds. However, although the toddlers in these studies expanded both vocabulary and consonant inventories, the effect of general development was not controlled for. The present study investigated if consonant inventory expanded in toddlers with cleft palate ± cleft lip (CP) and delayed speech and/or language acquisition as an effect of targeting both productive vocabulary and consonant inventory directly in early intervention. Results were compared to a non-treatment control group matched in pairs on language development. Methods: Participants were twenty-eight toddlers with CP and delayed speech and/or language acquisition aged 16-24 months. Fourteen toddlers received parent-implemented focused stimulation (INT group), and fourteen toddlers with CP constituted the non-treatment control group (CONT group). Participants were recruited from a complete birth cohort of all 103 Danish children with CP born between December 2012 and August 2014. Video recorded play interaction with a caregiver was obtained pre-intervention and four months post-intervention. Recordings were transcribed in broad IPA, and observed vocabulary was assessed as proposed by Vihman and McCune (1994). Recordings were randomised for pre and post-status, and the main transcribers were unrelated to the project. Results and conclusions: After intervention, the INT group had not only expanded their observed productive vocabularies to a greater extent than the CONT group, but also their true consonant inventory in words as evidenced by significantly higher gain scores with large effect sizes. The effect on true consonant inventory could largely be explained by the INT group’s increased ability to produce words with true consonants that were already within their consonant inventory. Thus, early intervention seemed to establish a link between consonant inventory and words rather than expand consonant inventory. Possible explanations and clinical implications of results will be discussed.
StatusUdgivet - 2018
Udgivet eksterntJa
BegivenhedInternational Child Phonology Conference - Chania, Grækenland
Varighed: 18 jun. 201820 jun. 2018


KonferenceInternational Child Phonology Conference