Speech camp for children with cleft lip and/or palate in Thailand

Open access

Abstract

Background: There is a critical need for speech therapy services for people born with cleft lip and/or palate in developing countries.

Objective: Assess the effectiveness of a speech camp and follow-up session for children with cleft lip and/or palate.

Methods: A Community-Based Model for Speech therapy was implemented at Suwanaphum Hospital District, Roiet, Thailand. Thirteen children with cleft lip and/or palate (3; 6-13 years) attended a four-day speech camp and a one-day follow-up session (six months later) for remediation of their articulation disorders. Paraprofessional training was also provided. Pre- and post-tests were administered to the participants, caregivers, and paraprofessionals to determine the effectiveness of the program. A pre- and post-articulation test, as well as an audiological evaluation were administered. Five speech and language pathologists provided speech therapy, both individual and group, for a total of 18 hours during the four-day speech camp and six hours in the one-day follow-up session. The median difference of the number of articulation errors was determined by results of the Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Test.

Results: There was a significant decrease in articulation errors following both the main speech camp and the follow-up session (z = 3.11, p < 0.01; z = 2.87, p<0.01, respectively). Caregivers’ and health care providers’ satisfaction ratings for participation in the speech camps ranged from good to excellent.

Conclusion: A Community-Based Model of both a speech camp and follow-up session provided an effective speech therapy treatment for children with cleft lip and/or palate.

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