From my office in downtown Brooklyn, I can hear the not-entirely-rhythmic jingling of the Salvation Army workers and it got me thinking: this really is a season of charity. Since I and my wife tend to send a donation to a charity whose mission we strongly support, wouldn’t it make sense to share some information about a handful of really great speech and language charities that I have come across in my career? Here are five great speech and language-focused charitable organizations that are changing the lives of the thousands of children they support. They are, in no particular order: Small Steps in Speech, Smile Train, donorschoose.org, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Foundation, and CASANA (Childhood Apraxia of Speech of Association of North America). Each of these charities has a noble mission and a track record of getting your charity dollars to their stated beneficiaries. As you consider who to give a holiday (or otherwise) charitable donation to, keep these charities in mind; they are helping children and adults all over the world improve their capacities to communicate. What better gift is there that the gift of communication?
We are thrilled to announce a new partnership that Speech Buddies has formed with The Cleft Lip & Palate Foundation of Smiles. Cleft lip or palate is one of the most common birth defects in the United States, affecting around 1 in 600 children nationwide. Children who are born with cleft lip or palate are likely to have speech difficulties, as too much air fills the open nasal cavity, making their speech sound “slushy.”
You may already be familiar with what a cleft palate is; perhaps you’ve seen pictures, learned about it in class or know someone with a cleft palate. But treating speech disorders that come with a cleft palates can be hard because a cleft palate brings about a host of variables that make sound production challenging. A cleft palate is a birth defect that can affect the lip, soft or hard palate to varying degrees. It is important to know how the defect arises, treatment options for repair and what an SLP can do in therapy because these defects can be quite complicated to treat. Get to know this disorder with the following web resources:
Orofacial clefts, or cleft lip and cleft palate, are among the most common birth defects. In fact, according to KidsHealth, about 1 to 2 out of every 1,000 babies in the U.S. is born with clefts. This medical condition occurs due to improper development in the womb. If your baby has a cleft palate, it will almost certainly be diagnosed at birth. Your child’s pediatrician will evaluate him for treatment. Most of the time, surgery can help. However, surgery may not be performed right away, and your baby may need additional surgeries later on. Your little guy might still experience speech difficulties after surgery, which can be addressed by a speech-language pathologist (SLP).