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Cleft Palate J. 1988 Jan;25(1):21-5.

Reading disability in children with clefts.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Iowa, Iowa City.


The prevalence of reading disability was examined in 172 elementary school children with cleft lip and palate (CLP) or cleft palate only (CPO). Approximately 35 percent of the sample displayed a moderate degree of reading disability, and 17 percent of the group exhibited severe reading disability. Reading disability was more prevalent at younger ages, presumably because of peripheral speech deficits. For older children, those with CLP displayed an incidence of reading disability similar to the general population (9 percent), whereas children with CPO exhibited a much higher rate of reading disability (33 percent). There were no sex differences in the prevalence of reading disability in this sample. The study supports earlier suggestions that children with CPO may be more likely to experience general language disorders leading to long-term reading disabilities. Children with CLP appear to manifest reading problems that tend to resolve with increased age.

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