'Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the early speech and language development of children born with cleft lip and/or palate.'

Children born with cleft palate are known to be at risk of developing disordered speech and may have delayed early language development. During the COVID-19 pandemic, treatments for children born with a cleft were often delayed and the environment that young children were exposed to was different because of lockdowns, social distancing, and facemasks.
This research aims to understand whether there are differences in early speech and language skills between children born with a cleft whose first two years were impacted by the pandemic, and children who reached age two years before the pandemic started. The work will be carried out using data from The Cleft Collective Cohort Study (www.bristol.ac.uk/cleft-collective). It will help us identify any implications for services.
This is a 12 month study that began at the start of 2023 and we hope to be able to publish any findings at the end of 2023- early 2024.