Pierre Robin Syndrome

By Pam Marshalla

Q: My two-year-old son has Pierre Robin Syndrome and cleft palate. He had oral surgery at 6-days of age, and again at 9 months. He makes a few sounds like “Eh-eh-eh,” “Mmmmm,” “Baba,” and “Papapa.” There has been little if any vocal play until just recently.  Receptive skills are good and he signs many words. Can the syndrome be a cause for his delay? I need suggestions.

Yes, the syndrome is most assuredly the cause of the delay. Surgeries and hospital stays also take toll on speech/language development.

I am wondering if you are you working with a speech-language pathologist? I am asking because your therapists should be able to answer these types of questions for you.

The best recommendation I can make for you is to encourage him to make as much sound as possible–coo, laugh, babble, growl, squeal, grunt, and so forth. Encourage him to make as many different types of sounds as possible. Encourage him to try to say words, keep the signing going, and encourage communication with pictures and computers.

You also may want to look at my book called Becoming Verbal with Childhood Apraxia.  It is filled with ideas about encouraging early communication and imitation skills.


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