Cleft palate is the most common birth defect that occurs. It happens in about 1 in 700 births. It is not a fatal problem. Most children born with clefts do well in developed countries. They may have difficulties with feeding initially, but with proper guidance, parents learn to feed their child with a cleft, and the child learns to compensate for the cleft during the first months after birth. Clefts are repaired within the first year of life, usually by a surgeon who has extensive experience and training with this disorder. The clefts are repaired in part to facilitate feeding, but most importantly to support normal speech. It is the problems with speech that I'd like to focus on.