Cleft palate and submucous cleft palate are seen in approximately 10 percent of children with 22Q-VCFS. These children require management by a comprehensive center, such as the Craniofacial Center at Cincinnati Children’s. Even in the absence of an anatomic palate abnormality, speech disorders are very common in children with 22Q-VCFS; more than 85 percent of patients are affected. Problems include verbal apraxia, dysarthria and velopharyngeal dysfunction with hypernasality. Treatment of the speech issues, especially velopharyngeal dysfunction, requires experienced and specially trained individuals who can identify and treat these conditions.
The Velopharyngeal Insufficiency (VPI) Clinic and the Division of Speech-Language Pathology at Cincinnati Children’s are both capable of caring for these patients. Approximately 15 percent of children evaluated and treated by the VPI Clinic have 22Q-VCFS, of whom half have not been previously diagnosed with this disorder.