Cleft Speech & Language Study

The Cleft Collective Cohort Studies investigate the biological and environmental causes of cleft lip and/or palate, the best treatments for cleft and the impact of cleft on those affected and their families. With the help of every cleft team in the UK, children and their families are being recruited into the studies. Families are asked to contribute biological samples (such as saliva) and complete a number of questionnaires at important time points during their child’s development. This information can be used by researchers including clinicians to answer important questions about the causes and treatments for cleft lip and/or palate and the well-being of children and adults born with a cleft and their families There are three cohorts; the birth cohort, the five-year cohort, the antenatal cohort and the Speech and Language study (CC-SL) which is a nested study within the main birth cohort and hosted by the BSLTRU. The CC-SL study is collecting data on a range of potential risk factors for speech outcomes in children born with cleft palate including parent-child interaction, infant vocalisations, the audio environment, SLT assessments at 24 and 36 months and hearing assessment data.  To find out more about the main study visit the home page or read more here.


The aim of the CC SL study is to create a resource for the study of the early speech and language development of children born with cleft palate.


Why is this important?

Although clefts are generally repaired within the first year of life in the UK, and some affected children develop typical speech patterns, there is evidence that more than 50% of children born with a cleft palate require SLT intervention at some point.  A review of speech outcomes from the Cleft Speech Audit Group found that 19% of 5-year-olds and 4% of 12-year-olds were judged to be impossible to understand or only just intelligible to strangers.

How can I get involved?

If you want to know more about the study, you could talk to your local cleft center speech and language therapy team if you are based in the UK, or you can contact Dr Yvonne Wren, principal investigator for the CCSL study

More detail can be found in the downloadable PDF below.

Find out about how recruitment is progressing, dissemination of findings and other bits and pieces about the speech study: