In last week’s blog, we talked about cleft palates, and how they affect a child’s speech and language development. In the US, most cleft palates are treated with surgery in a child’s early life, and most go on to live completely normal lives. Unfortunately, in developing countries, the outlook isn’t as good. Many families in these countries do not have the money or access to health care required to surgically fix their child’s cleft palate. This can result in the child growing up with severe difficulties eating and speaking. Depending on the culture of the country, many of these children are not allowed to attend school and will never marry or hold a job.
What can you do to help? Smile Train is a charity which provides free cleft palate surgeries to children in developing countries. The organization trains and educates local doctors to perform cleft surgeries, ensuring more children have access to the surgery that they need so badly. Over the past 12 years, Smile Train has provided 700,000 free cleft surgeries to children around the world. If you’d like to donate, visit Smile Train’s website at www.smiletrain.org. Just two hundred and fifty dollars covers an entire surgery for one child with cleft palate; however, you can donate as much or as little as you’d like. Check it out today, and find out how you can make a difference.
If you are having difficulty with speech, language or communication of any type, don’t wait: find a speech-language pathologist to help! Visit our website at www.speechassociatesofny.com to see how one of our trained and certified speech-language specialists can help you get on the road to better communication.