Cleft palate is a treatable birth defect. It happens when the roof of the baby's mouth (palate) does not develop normally during pregnancy, leaving an opening (cleft) in the palate that may go through to the nasal cavity. A cleft can form on any part of the palate, including the front part of the roof of the mouth (hard palate) or the small flap of tissue that hangs down from the soft palate (uvula). It may appear by itself or along with other birth defects of the face and skull, such as a cleft lip.
Cleft palate and cleft lip are the most common birth defects of the head and neck. Until it is treated with surgery, a cleft palate can cause problems with feeding, speech, and hearing.
Providence Child Center provides a rich continuum of services for children with special needs. The center is home to: