Objective: To examine reading and related skills in children with and without orofacial clefts.
Methods: Forty-two children with orofacial clefts were recruited from an urban craniofacial center. A demographically similar sample of 43 children without clefts was recruited using community advertisements and a research registry. Participants completed assessments of basic reading, phonological awareness, phonological memory, reading fluency, and rapid naming. Parents completed a semi-structured interview regarding educational and medical history.
Results: Children with clefts scored significantly lower than controls on measures of basic reading, phonological memory, and reading fluency.
Conclusions: This is one of the first studies of reading in children with orofacial clefts to include a control sample. The findings suggest that children with clefts are less adept readers than demographically matched peers without clefts, supporting the need to monitor academic achievement in this population.