Early speech and language intervention in Brazilian-Portuguese toddlers with cleft lip and/or palate
Young children with cleft palate with or without cleft lip (CL/P) are at risk for early vocabulary and speech sound production delays. Early intervention studies have shown some promising findings to promote early speech and vocabulary development following palate repair; however, we know little about how these interventions can be used in other international contexts. This study adapted an early speech and language intervention developed in the US, Enhanced Milieu Teaching with Phonological Emphasis (EMT+PE), to the Brazilian context at the Hospital for Rehabilitation of Craniofacial Anomalies at the University of São Paulo-Bauru. The purpose of this study was to compare the speech and language performance of 24 toddlers with CL/P randomized into an EMT+PE intervention group and a business-as–usual (BAU) comparison group over three time points: prior to, immediately following, and three months after intervention. Results immediately following intervention indicate gains in multiple measures of language. Three months following intervention, participants showed gains in both language and speech measures.