Children with cleft lip and palate typically have a variety of speech problems. It is because there is less tissue on the roof of the mouth for the tongue to touch, and the soft palate is not long enough to close off the mouth from the nose that will bring about nasal speech. Besides, it is common that agility of palate after surgical repair is not ideal.
Cleft lip and palate children need to have speech assessments from 18 months, and it is necessary for children to take speech therapy as soon as possible in order to prevent any speech problem, otherwise the correction will become more laborious and time consuming. In view this, HKACLP provides cleft-targeted resident speech therapy service to correct speech problems of cleft lip and palate children during the golden learning period (18 months – 6 years of age), helping them to catch up the normal learning pace. This service, previously sponsored by Apple Daily Charity Trust, is now supported by HKACLP. Besides, Mr. Andrew SO Ng Charity Foundation provides special subsidies for those children from fairly limited means.
At the same time, the association organizes every six months a ‘Parents Training Course’ which comprise three sections holds by our speech therapist to guide parents how to effectively help their children practice at home during speech therapy, so as to obtain better results. The contents include: oral muscle training, pronunciation training, and inspiring children’s communication potential. Our speech therapist will also assist parents to practice with children at home to promote the effectiveness of speech therapy.
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