Voice and speech of children with 22q11 deletion syndrome
Introduction. The 22q11 deletion syndrome (S22q11) is a genetic disorder caused by the loss of a fragment of the chromosome 22. The clinical manifestations associated with the syndrome are diverse, including learning difficulties and alterations in voice, speech and language. However, to date we have not found any study that evaluates these aspects in the Spanish population with S22q11.
Patients and methods. We evaluate the voice and speech of a sample of 10 boys and 7 girls, aged 3 years and 3 months to 13 years and 9 months old (mean age: 9,4 ± 3,5 years old) with S22q11, with voice recordings and a phonological and phonetic evaluation. Also, semistructured type interview is administered to parents.
Results. Most children of our series, both male and female, with S22q11 have a deeper voice than expected by gender and age, except for male children over 12 years. In terms of intensity, all of them are within the parameters of normality in spontaneous conversation. Almost all of them showed alterations in voice quality, mainly due to hypernasality. Regarding the speech, there are major difficulties in the articulation of fricatives, affricates and vibrant rhotic consonant clusters + /r/. Likewise, children, especially the youngest ones, make use of glottal stops to replace consonants.
Conclusions. In the studied sample, most of the children with S22q11 have specific voice and speech alterations.
Key words. 22q11 deletion syndrome. Speech. Speech and language therapy. Velocardiofacial. Voice.