The idea of having a surgery to correct a cleft palate or cleft lip has been discussed in a previous blog post and, in many cases, it is the correct decision for your child’s health. However, in cases where surgery may not be the best option due to health concerns or fears that the surgery will not be successful, there are other non-surgical treatment options. Our birth defects attorneys would like to highlight some effective, nonsurgical treatment options specifically targeted to help your child develop better speech.
Speech Bulbs and Palatal Lifts
Once your child starts to grow, your doctor may want to discuss appliances that can be put in his or her mouth, to make speech easier. The speech bulb may be suggested, which is a plastic ball that fits into the velopharyngeal space, which is then attached to a plastic plate fitted to the roof of the mouth and held in place by wire clasps. The size of the bulb will vary depending on the size of the velopharyngeal space. The bulbs function is to stop air and sound from escaping the nose during speech. It is removed at night before bed.
Another appliance that may be suggested is a palatal lift. This is similar to a speech bulb, but is a wider, plastic paddle that extends back into the mouth and lifts the soft palate up, closing the velopharyngeal space. Your child’s care team should be consulted to see which, if any, of these appliances is appropriate.
Birth Defects Attorneys in New Jersey and Philadelphia
Many parents who have children with a cleft lip or cleft palate are often overwhelmed and, in some instances, confused about their legal rights and whether or not birth defects attorneys would even be needed. In some cases, there have been improper actions that may have lead to your child’s birth defect and contacting birth defects attorneys is beneficial to your family’s physical and financial health. For example, the FDA has recently announced that Topamax (Topiramate), taken during pregnancy or during child-bearing years, has been linked to an increase in the development of cleft lips and cleft palates. We are able to assist parents dealing with these issues. Contact the Mininno Law Office for a free case evaluation or call for a free consultation at (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey, or (215) 567-2380 in Philadelphia.