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Cleft

Speech and Language Therapy

When you come for appointments when you are around 15 and 20 years old you will see different members of the cleft team including speech and language therapy. 

The speech and language therapist will talk to you about your speech; this is an opportunity to talk to you about any concerns that you have. The speech and language therapist will also discuss any options for speech therapy if you need it. You will be asked to repeat some sentences in order for us to listen to your speech; this is also recorded with your permission. 

If you have to come into hospital for surgery you might see a speech and language therapist before the operation. Jaw surgery can sometimes affect speech and so this is an opportunity for the speech and language therapist to listen to your speech and talk about possible changes, if any after your operation. 

If you have any concerns about your speech at any other times you can contact the team on 0117 342 1177, or your local speech and language therapists, for advice. 

Speech and Language Therapists can offer advice and tips on how to improve your speech; however your speech will only change if you practice these techniques regularly at home.

Here are some tips for working on your speech at home:

  • Remembering to practise can be difficult therefore try to plan ahead. Use a calendar to mark the days and times, or set reminders on your phone. Try to practice as often as you can.
  • Decide on a length of time to practise. Using an egg timer or a stop watch can help time your practise, for example, set the timer for 2 minutes and try to use your new speech sounds when talking. Then the next week increase to 3 or 4 minutes and so on.
  • You could choose to tell people you are practising your speech and ask them to remind you. This may be a friend or a family member. Someone you speak to on the phone is a good choice.
  • Try recording your speech using a phone and playing it back. Listen to the speech sounds, and if you notice any old sounds being used try again.
  • Try choosing a paragraph in a magazine and circling all your new sounds. Read the paragraph and focus on your sounds. You can then read it out loud to someone so they can listen to your sounds as well.
  • You could try and use your new sounds when ordering a drink from a coffee shop, asking a question at the local library etc.