Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Book Review: Children with Cleft Lip and Palate

It has been some time since I posted about a review, but I am back today with a great resource for both families and professionals working with children born with cleft lip and palate.  This book is a parents' guide to early speech-language development and treatment, but speech pathologists and other cleft palate team professionals could benefit from having this on their resource shelves too.  The authors are three speech pathologists: Mary A. Hardin-Jones, Ph.D., CCC-SLP; Kathy L. Chapman, Ph.D., CCC-SLP; and Nancy J. Scherer, Ph.D., CCC-SLP and it is clear that a great deal of thought and time was spent in compiling this book.  I only wish that it was available when I started out as a speech pathologist 20 years ago!

The first couple chapters define cleft lip and palate and associated syndromes, and identify the treatment team.  I can imagine that the details about the team members are most important for families that may be overwhelmed with unfamiliar medical care.  Chapter two does a wonderful job describing each professional and his or her role on a cleft palate team.

By the third chapter, both families and speech pathologists will benefit from a detailed review about feeding an infant with cleft lip and palate.  Despite having some experience working with this population, I gained knowledge about developments in bottles and feeding post surgery.  I especially liked the charts on troubleshooting common feeding problems and potential feeding issues as a result of problems such as airway compromise.  Speech pathologists just starting out in this field will appreciate this feeding chapter, especially those working in early intervention.

Moving right along, chapter four brings a wealth of knowledge on a child's ears and hearing.  There are so many points applicable for all children with hearing concerns that this chapter is worth the read for any specialist working with young children.  There are several visuals including anatomical components for hearing and an audiogram that displays sounds according to pitch and loudness.  I found the description about the two most common types of ear infections:  acute otitis media (AOM) and otitis media with effusion (OME) especially helpful. The latter is the result of a  build-up of sticky fluid in the middle ear that is not accompanied by pain, fever, or other symptoms as it is not an infection.  This condition can be easily missed, but impact hearing nonetheless.  I am glad that the authors detailed this condition and I will use this description in my practice when advocating for tympanometry.

Surgery and dental care are outlined in chapter five with the authors again providing great visuals of anatomy and actual photos of various conditions.  Readers will gain insight as to when surgical procedures occur, considerations prior to surgery, a child's needs before and after surgical intervention, success rates, and the types of procedures required to repair cleft lip and palate.

Communication and suggestions for boosting speech and language development are the topics detailed in chapters six and seven of this book.  Typical speech and language milestones are discussed with comparisons and expectations reviewed for children with cleft lip and palate.  The following details are also found in these two, fabulous chapters:

  • parental behaviors thought to facilitate language learning
  • stages of early vocal development
  • comprehension milestones
  • common production patterns and age of disappearance
  • grammatical morphemes by age 3 and beyond
  • emergent literacy skills
  • details on stimulating vocalizations and first words
  •  early developing sounds and words
  • prompting words during routines
  • recommended book titles
  • prompting and question strategies for shared readings
  • increasing oral airflow
  • activities to stimulate vocalizations, consonants, and early words
The final three chapters highlight velopharyngeal inadequacy (VPI), special concerns for children internationally adopted, and expectations for development beyond the infant/toddler years.  As you may have already noticed, this guidebook covers every, possible topic as it pertains to children with cleft lip and palate.  Following the informative chapters are a glossary, resources, references, an index, and detailed biographies for each author.  I would highly recommend this book even if you are not currently working with a child who has a cleft lip and palate, especially if you are working in early intervention, a hospital-based setting, and/or private practice because you will want this resource handy for your next client with this condition.  You can purchase your copy at this link through Woodbine House.

I am grateful to have been given an opportunity to read and review this book.  While Woodbine House, the publisher, provided me a copy of Children with Cleft Lip and Palate, no other compensation was received in exchange for my review.  Opinions and thoughts expressed in this post are unbiased and solely mine.  

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