Children with a cleft palate (± cleft lip; CP±L) can have difficulties communicating and participating in daily life, yet speech-language pathologists typically focus on speech production during routine assessments. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health: Children and Youth Version (ICF-CY; World Health Organization, 2007) provides a framework for holistic assessment. This tutorial describes holistic assessment of children with CP±L illustrated by data collected from a nonclinical sample of seven 2-to 3-year-old children, 13 parents, and 12 significant others (e.g., educators and grandparents). Method: Data were collected during visits to participants’ homes and early childhood education and care centers. Assessment tools applicable to domains of the ICF-CY were used to collect and analyze data. Child participants’ Body Functions including speech, language, and cognitive development were assessed using screening and standardized assessments. Participants’ Body Structures were assessed via oral motor examination, case history questionnaires, and observation. Participants’ Activities and Participation as well as Environmental and Personal Factors were examined through case history questionnaires, interviews with significant others, parent report measures, and observations. Results: Valuable insights can be gained from undertaking holistic speech-language pathology assessments with children with CP±L. Using multiple tools allowed for triangulation of data and privileging different viewpoints, to better understand the children and their contexts. Several children demonstrated speech error patterns outside of what are considered cleft speech characteristics, which underscores the importance of a broader assessment. Conclusion: Speech-language pathologists can consider incorporating evaluation of all components and contextual factors of the ICF-CY when assessing and working with young children with CP±L to inform intervention and management practices.
Cronin, A., McLeod, S., & Verdon, S. (2020). Holistic communication assessment for young children with cleft palate using the international classification of functioning, disability and health: Children and youth. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 51(4), 914-938. https://doi.org/10.1044/2020_LSHSS-19-00122