Investigators: Lucy Southby, Yvonne Wren, Amy Davies, Sharon Baker, Helen Extence, Neil Brierley
Timescale: January - December 2023
Funder: CLEFT Bridging the Gap Charity https://www.cleft.org.uk/
Children born with cleft palate are at risk of speech problems and delayed early language development. During the COVID-19 pandemic, treatments for children born with a cleft were often delayed and the environment that young children were exposed to was different because of lockdowns, social distancing and facemasks. This research aims to understand whether these differences from the pandemic have had an impact on the early speech and language development of children born with a cleft. Using data from The Cleft Collective cohort studies, this work will describe the early speech and language skills of children born with a cleft (up to age 2 years) who were born just before or during the pandemic and compare them to children who reached age two years before the pandemic started.