Recently, I had the opportunity to interview members of a CLP team and they shared with me what would make it easier .
What would you consider to be the most important thing that a service provider should know when they are working with a child with a cleft lip and palate?
Kids with clefts can’t generate pressure to make sounds. Normally they just say “muh.” We need to brush up on our A&P; so that we can provide good therapy.
What should ECI professionals educate parents on?
The second surgery normally occurs around 12 months so kids with clefts won’t develop speech sounds on time. Let the parents know that they should be looking for and practicing low pressure sounds to get the ball rolling.
Is there anything that the parents could know from the ECI agencies to make the team and surgery visits easier?
Keep the child’s hearing status up to date. Hearing issues like infections can delay speech even further and cause schedules to be pushed back or visits to be cancelled.
Is there anything problematic/difficult with family interactions that could be addressed by services outside of the team visits?
You need to do a full assessment to determine whether there are cognitive delays or other delays. Parents fear that their children are delayed in every way imaginable because of the cleft. Normally communication is the only main issue.