Which professionals will we see?
Children born with cleft lip and/or palate and their families will see a number of professionals.
The service offered is called a ‘hub and spoke’ model. The ‘hub’ is at Birmingham Children’s Hospital where the cleft team (Surgeons, Orthodontists, Speech and Language Therapists) are based. The ‘spoke’ is your local team in Coventry (Ear Nose and Throat, Audiology, Speech and Language Therapists).
When do we see the local Speech and Language Therapist?
An appointment will be arranged when your child is approximately 12 months old, after they have had their palate repaired. Advice will be given about how you can help your child’s speech and language development.
Why does my child need to see a Speech and Language Therapist?
Children begin to communicate from a very early age. It is important that your child’s babble and speech development is monitored and that you know what types of speech difficulties may occur.
About 50% of children with a cleft palate will need some direct speech therapy.
If your child does need therapy, each time you see the therapist, you will be given advice on how to help your child’s speech and language development.
Once your child is 2 years old, if necessary and appropriate, direct therapy can begin. This is usually a monthly appointment with the therapist where they will provide lots of games for you to carry out with your child at home. When your child turns 3 years old, they may be offered weekly or fortnightly therapy if/when appropriate.
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