J Korean Assoc Maxillofac Plast Reconstr Surg.  1998 Feb;20(1):19-32.



Children with cleft palates are at risk for speech problems even though they received proper treatment. Early diagnostic evaluation of speech is important in preventing speech problems. However, standardization of speech evaluation for children with cleft palate is not developed in Korea. The aim of this study is to develop an objective method of speech evaluation for children with cleft palate. To assess velopharyngeal function. Visi-Pitch, computerized-implanted speech analysis system(CSL). Nasometer and Nasofiberscopy were used for this study. Acoustic parameters were measured depending on the diagnostic instruments : Pitch(Hz), sound pressure level(dB), jitter(%) and diadochokinetic rate by Visi-Pitch, VOT and vowels fomant (F1 & F2) by spectrography and the degree of hypemasality by Nasomoter. In addition, Nasofiberscopy was used to see the velopharyngeal port in relation to the scores of nasalance. Ten children with cleft palates and fifty one normal children participated in the experiment. The test words are composed of the sustained low vowel /a/ and high vowel /i/ for Visi-Pitch, Nasometer and Nasofiberscopy, and /pip/, /pep/, /pup/, /pop/, /pap/ and simple vowels /i, e, u, o. a/ for Spectrography. All the data was statistically tested. The results are as follows : 1. Children with cleft palate showed the phonatory and respiratory problems. The duration of sustained vowels in cleft palate was shorter than control group. Pitch of children with cleft palate was higher than control groups. However, intensity, jitter and diadochokinetic rate of children with cleft palate were lower than control groups. 2. On Spectrogram, VOT of children with cleft palate was longer than control groups. Vowel formals (F1 & F2) were lower than control group. 3. Higher nasalance of children with cleft palate showed the resonance disorder with respect to control groups. The amount of opening velopharyngeal port was related to the degree of hypernasality using Nasometer. 4. High vowel /i/ is a convinient way of evaluation cleft palate speech.

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