In May 2017, Alice Lee, Fiona E. Gibbon, and Kimberley Spivey published “Children’s Attitudes Toward Peers With Unintelligible Speech Associated With Cleft Lip and/or Palate,” hereafter “Children’s Attitudes,” in The Cleft Palate Craniofacial Journal. About one in every 1600 babies in the US is born with both cleft lip and cleft palate, which are birth defects that can also occur independently. Those birth defects occur when the lip or roof of the mouth, also called the palate, do not fully develop during pregnancy. The condition often results in speech difficulties, even after children undergo surgery to repair their cleft palate. “Children’s Attitudes” was one of the first articles investigating how different age groups of children judged their peers with speech difficulties who had undergone a cleft palate repair surgery. The authors found that peers’ attitudes towards speech problems tended to be negative. “Children’s Attitudes” concludes that judgment from peers can negatively affect children with speech difficulties and argues that increased public awareness of speech difficulties may reduce barriers that children with those difficulties face.

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