A Speech Pathologist plays an active role in assessing and treating the children with cleft lip and palate from the time they enter the centre. The children are assessed by the speech pathologist in the aspects of oral examination by which we can make out the movements of lips, tongue, velo pharynx before the surgery and encourage the child to do normal movements by discouraging the self adaptive mechanism which might hinder the speech/voice clarity in the future.
This assessment session also helps the children and the therapist to build up the rapport between each other, even after the surgery the child will allow the therapist to touch since they experienced a regular play therapy session.
The adults are also assessed with their oral movements before surgery and given instruction on to how the result of surgery going to be and given demonstration of exercises to be followed after the surgery.
Since the follow up’s of the patients to the centre after the surgery is a big problem this pre assessment and treatment demonstration will help the patient to understand the importance of speech therapy exercises, speech clarity after the surgery will be better if they start following the exercises within 10 days after surgery.
Children and adults with cleft lip and palate are observed to have problems with their body posture also which is hindering their improvement indirectly. For example: A child suffering from cleft lip and palate might bend the spine while sitting which will reduce his breathing capacity and in turn oral resonance, leading to nasal voice. To treat these kind of postural problems we trained few speech therapists. In a new approach called myo functional therapy and K.O.S.T in Germany and Switzerland.
Myo functional therapy is a kind of muscle trainer which will help the patients attain their normal muscle tonicity and organ function to its best. We are trained to use gadgets like face formers, ballo-vents, and tongue-trainers to improve the breath, lip closure and tongue strengthening. There exercises can be used on children and adults as soon as they are identified. Complete body correction help the patients to gain their confidence in achieving maximum results possible. For example, they don’t need to get used to bending the body inward’s or hiding the face towards the cleft side.
We always believed in Speech therapy and encouraged the professionals by giving them free hand. We also succeeded in solving the problem of ‘follow up speech therapy sessions ‘.
We are proud to state that we have kick started a programme called ‘Intensive Speech Therapy’ in which around 10 patients are selected as a batch per month and given admission as an ‘in patient’ for 10 days and provided with food for patient and the attenders free of cost. These 10 days the speech therapist will assess the child’s improvement regularly and update the necessary changes in the treatment.
Within these 10 days we record the pre therapy speech or voice sample and post therapy sample. These samples will help patient’s gain confidence and understand the importance of speech therapy.
The greatest achievement is the patients showing interest to join intensive speech therapy programme. The ‘Intensive speech therapy’ project could get started in all the branches very fast all over INDIA. We sincerely thank our team and sponsors for treating the needed people by utilizing the speech therapy facilities.
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