Hi, a friend of mine has a little boy who was born with a cleft pallet and hair lip, he had surgery when a few days old. He's now 5 and has started school, the school seem to think he has ASD.From my point of view (parent of 2 ASD children) he shows no signs of ASD, he has great imagination, good eye contact, can handle routine change etc.., he is a little behind with speach (maybe due to the cleft), is very strong willed, cant count or write and can't sit still. Does this sound more like ADHD?
Do children born with cleft pallets and hair lips often have other problems?
Just posting next door about my ds who is awaiting assessment for ADHD. He was very lively as a toddler and is still. Finds it hard to remain seated in class without breaks. Concentration and attention of a knat (in the classroom) and also had a speech delay (never had SALT as they didn't feel necessary). I would find it hard to make a connection between the cleft pallet and a disorder tbh - although mot an expert by any means. Why has the school suggested ASD ?
Yes, please use the term cleft lip and palate (CL&P) - harelip is offensive. I know very little about ASD/ADHD, but a fair bit about clefts (my daughter has a cleft palate). I can see how problems associated with the cleft could cause withdrawal - speech delays can undermine confidence and hearing problems (most cleft children suffer with 'glue ear') can mean that they miss what is going on at school. Are school doing things like making sure he is at the front of class to hear, talking clearly etc? I'm not aware of any syndrome linking CL&P to either ASD or ADHD. Maybe it would be worth contacting cleft charity CLAPA to ask them?
I don't know if there's any link between CL&P and ASD/ADHD, but if the school are raising concerns, I'd suggest to your friend that she goes to her GP and asks for a referral to a developmental paed. The school can't make any dx themselves and whatever the issue is, it will need a paed to investigate it.
I also am not aware of any link between the 2. However because soeone has 1 thing doesn't mean they also can't have soething else!
The advice given is good. Your friend may want to go to the G.P. and as for an appointment with paediatrician. She could also ask the school to keep a behaviour diary for a short time, noting down the behaviours they think are a problem.
There could be any number of things going on i.e. adhd, or sensory issues etc.