Ralph O. Coleman
George H. Kurtzrock
Date of this Version
The purpose of this paper is to present and evaluate various methods used to assess velopharyngeal competence of cleft palate individuals. The information presented is directed at the speech pathologist and includes background information of the classification and incidence of clefts, the embryological development and anatomy of the normal velopharyngeal mechanism, and a description of the functioning of the velopharyngeal mechanism in both normal and cleft palate persons. A reasonable understanding of these areas is considered to be a necessary prerequisite to any attempt to determine whether or not the mechanism is operating efficiently for speech.
It should be noted that there has been no attempt to present a complete coverage of the intricacies of embryological development, anatomy, or functioning of the velopbaryngeal mechanism. The main purpose in including these subjects is to give the speech pathologist a better understanding of velopharyngeal valving and the most useful techniques with which to assess its adequacy for connected speech in the person with a cleft of the soft palate