If a cleft palate is not treated or treated late in life, many problems for the patient are the result. Due to the lack of separation of the mouth and nasal cavity, the interaction of the lip, tongue and palate muscles is disturbed. In addition, there is a change in the position of the tongue, which shifts backwards into the cleft. Serious functional disorders are the result. Swallowing and breathing, basic pronunciation and the sound of the voice are affected.
In babies, breathing and feeding problems can become life-threatening. Food getting into the nose is still a handicap later in life, and is associated with shame for the affected patients.
The disturbances in sound formation result in a delayed language development. Hearing deficits caused by chronic inner ear infections can make learning to speak even harder. Due to their unclear pronunciation and an often nasal voice, the children are often stigmatized as disabled.
In order to promote language development in children, we offer language and functional therapy wherever the structures in our project countries allow. The same principle that applies for the surgeries also applies here: the earlier the therapy is started, the more effective it is.