Speech, language, and feeding phenotypes of SATB2-associated syndrome

Clin Genet. 2019 Dec;96(6):485-492. doi: 10.1111/cge.13619. Epub 2019 Aug 12.


SATB2-associated syndrome (SAS) is a recently identified disorder characterized by neurodevelopmental deficits and craniofacial anomalies. Assessments of speech, language, and feeding-related issues were conducted among 61 individuals with SAS (median age = 86 months, range = 26 months to 29 years of age). Individuals with SAS were mostly non-verbal communicators (72.1%) with severe deficits in both language comprehension and expression. The majority of individuals had receptive vocabulary skills of a child younger than 3 years of age. Based on parent report, the average spoken lexicon was 28.6 (SD = 84.6, n = 55) with a range of 0 to 500 (median = 5 words). All of the individuals with SAS with enough verbal ability either showed signs of childhood apraxia of speech or already had a diagnosis (n = 40) and 73.3% exhibited problems with reliable communication with unfamiliar partners. Hypernasal resonance (17.8%) due to velopharyngeal insufficiency secondary to a history of cleft palate and/or apraxic palatal movement (60.0% of hypernasal patients with no history of cleft palate), problems with chewing (68.2%), overstuffing the mouth with solids (64.9%), pharyngeal phase dysphagia (60.8%), and sialorrhea (63.3%) were common in this population. Mutation type was not predictive of receptive or expressive language abilities. We developed language and communication treatment recommendations based on these findings.

Keywords: SATB2; feeding; language; speech.

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / physiopathology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Apraxias / physiopathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communication
  • Feeding Behavior*
  • Female
  • Genetic Association Studies
  • Humans
  • Language*
  • Male
  • Motor Activity
  • Phenotype
  • Speech / physiology*
  • Syndrome
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult