Skip to main content

About the Velopharyngeal Disorders Clinic

The Velopharyngeal Disorders Clinic provides a multidisciplinary approach to the complex care of infants, children and adolescents with speech disorders. Our collaborative team includes specialists from otolaryngology, speech and language pathology, audiology, prosthodontics and surgical subspecialties. Our clinic provides various services including:

  • Accurate diagnosis based on medical history, physical examination, nasoendoscopy and, at times, radiologic testing
  • Comprehensive care for patients with velopharyngeal disorders, which may include medical, surgical and/or dental interventions
  • Multidisciplinary review of patient cases, allowing for the development of a specialized, comprehensive management plan tailored to each patient
  • Support for patients and their families (through guidance and resources for coping with the diagnosis)
  • Access to our new state-of-the-art, dedicated pediatric speech and nasoendoscopy center

Our specialties

One of our many specialties is velopharyngeal insufficiency (VPI), which is when abnormal structure causes air to escape through the nose during speech. VPI may be found in children who have: 

  • Cleft palate
  • Certain syndromes, such as velocardiofacial syndrome, deletion 22q11
  • Had previous adenoid removed
  • Weak throat muscle
  • Too much space between the palate and the throat

These children may have other issues that affect their speech. This includes:

  • Articulation (the way they make speech sounds with their mouth and tongue) 
  • Speech coordination (putting the sounds together)
  • Weak speech muscle, neurologic concerns
  • Voice
  • Hearing

We have a multidisciplinary VPI Program aimed toward outcomes research. The pediatric otolaryngology team works side by side with the speech and language pathology team to determine the long-term effects of surgery and therapy on speech.

About Cohen Children’s

As part of a large specialized children’s hospital, our patients benefit from the expertise of pediatric subspecialists in all fields, Magnet®-recognized excellence in pediatric nursing, and the dedicated care of social workers and child life specialists who work with both patients and their families throughout the course of treatment.

Make an appointment

To schedule an appointment specifically for VPI, please call (718) 470-7550.

For combination speech and ENT appointments, call (718) 470-3277.

Go to top