Orofacial Clefts and the Impact on Academics

Share Article

Children with orofacial clefts have faced challenges in school such as cognition, reading, language, hearing, speech, and developmental and behavioral problems, which leads to poor academic achievement compared with their peers. An article in the new issue of The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal discusses a comparative study among children with and without orofacial clefts.

The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal Volume 52, Issue 3

Parents, clinicians, and teachers should be aware of potential academic differences in children with an isolated orofacial cleft so that these children can be monitored and provided necessary services as early as possible if difficulties do arise

The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal – One of the most common birth defects in the United States is being born with a cleft lip (1 in 940) or a cleft palate (1 in 1574), referred to as orofacial clefts (OFCs). Children with OFCs have faced challenges in school such as cognition, reading, language, hearing, speech, and developmental and behavioral problems, which leads to poor academic achievement compared with their peers.

The article “Academic Outcomes of Children With Isolated Orofacial Clefts Compared With Children Without a Major Birth Defect,” in The Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal discusses a comparative study among children 5 to 12 years of age with and without OFCs born between 1996 and 2002. Parents were surveyed and academic data was collected including letter grades, grade retention, and school days missed. Overall, 1008 surveys were mailed, 289 were completed with 150 being from parents of a child having an OFC and 139 without.

The surveys concluded that children with an OFC had more developmental disabilities, hearing problems, speech problems, and ear infections. They were also more likely to receive lower grades and miss more school days than children without a major birth defect. However, there was no difference in children being held back a grade between the two groups. The findings in this study were closely in line with two additional studies, one of which comes out of the United Kingdom and its authors believe children with OFCs were benefitted by special needs services to help them navigate their academic hardships.

In this study, the authors also felt that “parents, clinicians, and teachers should be aware of potential academic differences in children with an isolated orofacial cleft so that these children can be monitored and provided necessary services as early as possible if difficulties do arise.” They also believed that the small sample size was a limitation to this study and that a broader range of children should be sampled. Also, a follow-up study looking at high school children would be beneficial so as to compare the progression of how the OFC group has been impacted over time academically.

Full text of the article, “Academic Outcomes of Children With Isolated Orofacial Clefts Compared With Children Without a Major Birth Defect,” The Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Journal, Vol. 52, No. 3, 2015, are now available.

###

About The Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Journal
The Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Journal is an international, interdisciplinary journal reporting on clinical and research activities in cleft lip/palate and other craniofacial anomalies, together with research in related laboratory sciences. It is the official publication of the American Cleft Palate–Craniofacial Association (ACPA). For more information, visit http://www.acpa-cpf.org/.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Jason Snell
Allen Press, Inc.
+1 8006270326 Ext: 410
Email >
Visit website