Purpose: The purpose of this pilot study was to investigate the extent to which a naturalistic communication intervention, enhanced milieu teaching with phonological emphasis (EMT+ PE), improved the language and speech outcomes of toddlers with cleft lip and/or palate (CL/P). Method: Nineteen children between 15 and 36 months (M = 25 months) with nonsyndromic CL/P and typical cognitive development were randomly assigned to a treatment (EMT+ PE) or nontreatment, business-as-usual (BAU), experimental condition. Participants in the treatment group received forty-eight 30-min sessions, biweekly during a 6-month period. Treatment was delivered in a university clinic by trained speech language pathologists; fidelity of treatment was high across participants. Results: Children in the treatment group had significantly better receptive language scores and a larger percentage of consonants correct than children in the BAU group at the end of intervention. Children in the treatment group made greater gains than children in the BAU group on most language measures; however, only receptive language, expressive vocabulary (per parent report), and consonants correct were significant. Conclusions: The results of this preliminary study indicate that EMT+PE is a promising early intervention for young children with CL/P. Replication with a larger sample and long-term follow-up measures are needed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Linguistics and Language
- Speech and Hearing