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Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 1985 Jul;9(2):165-71.

Chronic pediatric tracheotomy: assessment and implications for habilitation of voice, speech and language in young children.


The effect of chronic tracheotomy on the acquisition of voice, speech, and language skills was studied. Children with chronological ages of 16 months to 41 months were evaluated for Receptive Communication Age (RCA) and Expressive Communication Age (ECA). Results indicate a consistent deviation of (on the average) 4.8 months delay in RCA and 9 months delay in ECA. An habilitation program for early intervention in voice, speech and language stimulation is described, with follow-up data on 3 children. A progression from non-meaningful, non-vocal communication to more meaningful and functional communication is noted. The evidence indicates that, without therapeutic intervention, children with tracheotomies are at risk for delays in receptive and expressive language development, as well as deficits in oral/vocal speech and voice production.

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