ICSF Serves Inaugural Speech Therapy Mission
When children with cleft palates receive palate surgery, even the most meticulous surgical repair is often not enough to ensure normal speech. In the US and other developed countries, children have access to speech therapists who can train and teach the patients to speak normally after palate surgery.
“Our inability to provide speech therapy to our patients had been a great thorn in my side ever since the inception of ICSF, in view of our goal to provide the best care to every child we treat,” explains Dr. Williams.
“We had looked into several options but nothing had worked out, until one day Dr. Theresa Snelling, a noted speech pathologist from Rose Children’s Medical Center in Denver, contacted me and said she was interested in volunteering with ICSF. At that moment I realized that Dr. Snelling was the missing piece to our puzzle.”
ICSF then organized its first speech therapy mission in the developing world. Dipolog, Philippines, where there exists a large number of patients previously operated on by ICSF for cleft palates, was chosen as the mission site. Dr. Snelling and her assistants worked for an entire week providing speech diagnosis and intensive therapy to the children.
“This is the first mission of its kind that I have ever seen or heard of”, comments Dr. Williams. “The results in the kids’ abilities to speak better after the therapy was quite astounding to me”, he added.
Dr. Snelling is planning on another ICSF speech therapy mission to Dipolog and is initiating plans to help expand ICSF’s speech therapy services to Latin America.