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Early Development and Disorders of Speech


Project group leader

Anette Lohmander

The group conducts research on the development and disorders of speech and language hearing in adverse conditions in children and adolescents in three overlapping areas; cleft lip and palate, hearing loss, and neurodevelopmental disability. The research also includes the development of assessment methods, possible predictors of subsequent deviations, and evaluation of intervention. The opinion of peers and adults as well as own opinion of speech and communication is also investigated in relation to activity and participation

Project group members

Name Title Function
Anette Lohmander Professor, SLP Project group leader
Jill Nyberg PhD, SLP Researcher
Petra Peterson MD, Plastic surgeon Doctoral student
Ann Malmenholt SLP Doctoral student
Anita McAllister Associate prof, SLP Co-supervisor
Liisi Raud Westberg Specialist, SLP Clin project co-worker
Emilie Hagberg SLP Clin project co-worker
Traci Flynn PhD Researcher, co-supervisor
Anna Persson Special Edu Doctoral student
Birgitta Tengroth MD, Audiologist Doctoral student
Marion Lieberman Lecturer, SLP Doctoral student
Anna Nyman SLP Doctoral student

In collaboration with

At Karolinska University Hospital
Katarina Lindström PhD, MD, Ped Neurologist Co-supervisor
Christina Hederstierna PhD, MD, Med Audiologist Co-supervisor
At University of Gothenburg
Carmela Miniscalco Associate prof., PhD Co-supervisor
Christina Persson Associate prof., PhD Researcher
At Stockholms University
Fransisco Lacerda Professor, Civ.Ing Researcher
Lisa Gustavsson PhD Co-supervisor
At Lund Univ./Skånes Univ. Hospital
Kristina Klintö PhD, SLP Researcher

Research projects

Early development of speech and hearing in cleft palate (TUTH)
Fluctuating hearing loss related to otitis media with effusion (OME) is very common in children born with cleft palate. In the TUTH-project is the early development of speech and hearing investigated in a controlled study of two groups of children: born with cleft lip and/or palate and with OME without cleft palate. Sub-projects include phonology, vocabulary, comprehension (Anette Lohmander med Fransisco Lacerda, Traci Flynn, Liisi Raud Westberg and Birgitta Tengroth.

Auditory, speech and language development in children with hearing loss birth to 3 years of age. (Anna Persson)

Speech and language in early childhood neurodevelopmental disability. (Anna Nyman).

Babbling Screening
Evaluation of a method for screening at Child Health Care center of babbling in 10-months-old children. Could a specific question to parents identify the children at risk for later problem with speech, language or communication? (Anette Lohmander med Carmela Miniscalco, Marion Lieberman och Bibbi Hagberg).

Development of speech, language and communication in children who do not have canonical babbling at 10 months of age. (Marion Lieberman).

Speech outcome and surgical method in cleft palate
Impact of method for operation of the cleft palate in children born with cleft lip and/or palate) on the development of speech and velopharyngeal function is investigated longitudinally as well as in two Randomized Controlled studies: Scandcleft (The Scandcleft Trials), and TOPS (Timing of primary surgery in cleft palate) and one National Intercenter Study. (Anette Lohmander med Jill Nyberg, Petra Peterson, Christina Persson and Kristina Klintö.

Who cares about deviant speech? How other people think about deviant speech; peers (Jill Nyberg) and adults and how young adults with speech disorders think about their own speech and communication (Petra Peterson) are investigated using focus groups and questionnaires.

Childhood apraxia of speech in 5-year-old children with Cleft Lip and Palate and speech disorders.
(Ann Malmenholt).

Effect of Intervention
The effect of early intervention to parents to children with delayed onset of canonical babbling (Marion Lieberman, Anna Nyman) and the effect of early intervention with BAHA in babies with conductive hearing loss (Traci Flynn) are investigated in small controlled group studies. Single subject designs are used for studies of effect of visual feedback (eletropalatography, EPG) in individuals with established speech disorders (articulation deviances) (Anette Lohmander), and speech motor intervention in 5-year-olds with childhood apraxia of speech. (Ann Malmenholt), and SLP intervention to children with persistent speech disorders. In collaboration with the Regional CLP- SLP Network (SLL).

Selected publications

  • Nyman A, Lohmander A. Babbling in children with neurodevelopmental disability and a simplified way of measuring canonical babbling ratio. Clincal Linguistics Phonetics, 2018;32:114-127.
  • Raud Westberg L, Höglund Santamarta L, Karlsson J, Nyberg J, Neovius E, Lohmander A. Longitudinal speech outcome in young children born with unilateral cleft lip and palate treated with one- or two-stage palatal repair and the impact of early intervention. Logopedics, Phoniatrics, Vocology, 2017 Oct 25 pg 1-9.
  • Lohmander A, Holm K, Eriksson E, Lieberman M. Observation method identifies that a lack of canonical babbling can indicate future speech and language problems. Acta Paediactrica, 2017;106(6):935-943.
  • Lohmander A, Persson C, Willadsen E, Lundeborg I, Alaluusua S, Aukner R, Scandcleft randomised trials of primary surgery for unilateral cleft lip and palate: 4. Speech outcomes in 5-year-olds - velopharyngeal competency and hypernasality. J Plast Surg Hand Surg, 2017;51:26-36.
  • Willadsen E, Lohmander A, Persson C, Lundeborg I, Alaluusua S, Aukner R, Scandcleft randomised trials of primary surgery for unilateral cleft lip and palate: 5. Speech outcomes in 5-year-olds - consonant production and errors. J Plast Surg Hand Surg, 2017;51:37-50
  • Sundman H, Flynn T, Tengroth B, Lohmander A. ABR thresholds in infants born with CLP and OME and infants with OME. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolar 2016;81:21-25.
  • Nyberg J & Havstam C: Speech in 10-year-olds born with unilateral cleft lip and palate: what do peers say? Cleft palate-Craniofacial J (2015). 2016:53:e-publ.
  • Nyberg J, Peterson P, Lohmander A. Speech outcomes at age 5 and 10 years in unilateral cleft lip and palate after one-stage palatal repair with Minimal Incision Technique - a longitudinal perspective. Int J Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 2014;78:1662-1670.
  • Flynn T, Lohmander A. A longitudinal study of hearing and middle ear status in individuals with UCLP. Otology & Neurology, 2014;35:989-996.
  • Lieberman M, Lohmander A. Observation is a valid way of assessing common variables in typical babbling and identifies infants who need further support. Acta Paediatrica, 2014;103:1251–1257.
  • Klintö K, Salameh E-K, Olsson M, Flynn T, Svensson H, Lohmander A. Development of phonology and articulation in toddlers born with and without unilateral cleft lip and palate. Int J Language Communication Disorders, 2014;49:240-254.
  • Lohmander A, Friede H, Lilja J. Long-term, longitudinal follow-up of individuals with unilateral cleft lip and palate after the Gothenburg primary early veloplasty and delayed hard palate closure protocol: Speech outcome. Cleft Palate-Craniofac J, 2012;49:657-671.
  • Nordberg A, Carlsson G, Lohmander A. Electropalatography (EPG) in description and treatment of speech disorders in five children with Cerebral Palsy. Clinical Linguistics and Phonetics, 2011;25:831-852.
  • Lohmander A, Olsson M, Flynn T. Early Consonant Production in Swedish Infants with and without Unilateral Cleft Lip and Palate and Two-stage Palatal Repair. Cleft Palate-Craniofac J, 2011;48:271-285.
  • Flynn T, Möller C, Jönsson R, Lohmander A. The high prevalence of otitis media with effusion in children with cleft lip and palate as compared to children without clefts. Int J of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology, 2009;73:1441-1446.