We treat children 3 1/2 years of age and older who have sufficient speech for a complete evaluation. Patients who are non-verbal may be cared for by other programs, such as the Cleft Lip and Palate Program or 22q and You Center, depending on their underlying condition.
During your child’s first visit, we will conduct a comprehensive clinical examination to get a thorough understanding of the condition and any potential complications, starting with assessments by a speech pathologist and a plastic surgeon.
Patients with VPD often require visualization and imaging of the velopharyngeal mechanism during speech. If needed, your child will undergo a structural evaluation of the velopharynx using video nasoendoscopy or, less often, videofluoroscopy. Our center is equipped with video nasoendoscopic equipment and can perform this study on the day of your visit. We will consult with the Department of Radiology to complete any additional visualization studies that may be needed.
After your child’s initial evaluation, our team will collaborate to determine the most appropriate timing and course of treatment. This may include:
- Specialized speech therapy
- Surgical intervention when indicated
- Psychosocial support
- Consultation with a geneticist, neuropsychologist, developmental pediatrician or other specialists
Ongoing follow-up care is provided on a regular schedule. Team members are available to consult with local providers to optimize care for your child.
If you have questions about treatment options and care provided by our program, a nurse coordinator will speak with you to gather information and determine the next steps for consultation or referral.