Language, articulation, voice and resonance characteristics in 4 children with Goldenhar syndrome: a pilot study.Folia Phoniatr Logop. 2004 May-Jun; 56(3):131-43.FP
The purpose of this study was to describe the language, articulation, voice and resonance characteristics in children with Goldenhar syndrome. The 4 Dutch-speaking subjects were 2 boys (age 4.5 and 10.2 years) and 2 girls (aged 5.0 and 5.4 years) with normal cognitive functioning. Language testing showed a delay in the development of morphosyntactic abilities. Speech analysis showed that these four children were capable of producing all the sounds of their mother tongue. One type of distortion error, namely dentalization, was found in 2 children. Phonological process analysis revealed the persistence of processes such as final consonant deletion, unstressed syllable deletion and cluster reduction, which are normal in young children but are suppressed with maturation. Also the substitution process of devoicing was observed in these 4 children. It is not clear how the speech and language problems demonstrated in these 4 children are to be explained. It must be taken into consideration that the Goldenhar syndrome has a variable expression. It is possible that the presence of a mandibular defect, hearing impairment, the type and severity of palatal abnormality and decreased linguistic processing skills influence articulation in an individual child. The voices of 2 children were characterized by the presence of slight roughness, corresponding with a higher jitter percentage. How the occurrence of the hoarse voices is to be explained is not quite clear. Laryngoscopic evaluation of the vocal folds showed no organic or functional voice disorder. Regarding resonance, only the child with a cleft palate showed hypernasality and nasal emission. The ENT specialist and the speech-language pathologist must be aware of these communication disorders in order to start preventive and early 'tailor-made' speech and language intervention as soon as possible.