Purpose: The purpose of this pilot study was to attempt to describe how feeding education was provided to a group of caregivers of infants with cleft lip and/or palate and how they viewed the feeding experience. Method: Participants (n=5) were recruited from two Facebook support groups, Cleft Lip and Palate Support Group and Cleft Mom Support. The data were collected using Qualtrics™ software. The questionnaire consisted of eight demographic questions and seven topic-specific questions. The demographic questions included the exclusion and inclusion criteria. The participants of this study were required to be an English-speaking parent or a caregiver of a child under one year of age with non-syndromic cleft lip and/or palate. While six participants qualified, only five continued on to complete the topic-specific questions. Results: Four of five participants reported receiving feeding education from a speech-language pathologist, and all reported being provided follow-up care in regard to feeding. Three out of five participants mentioned the use of specific bottles in regard to the feeding education they were provided. Three out of five participants also described using Facebook support groups to acquire additional feeding information. Conclusion: This study helps to clarify the importance of speech-language pathologists’ role in cranio-facial teams as providers of feeding therapy to infants born with cleft lip and/or palate.

Author Bio(s)

Clare Huang, M.S., CF-SLP is completing her clinical fellowship at a long-term care facility in Dalton, GA, with Hamilton Health Care System. Her research interests include swallowing disorders, pediatric feeding, and craniofacial differences. She currently serves as the secretary and board member for FACES: The National Craniofacial Organization.

Kimberly Green, Ed.D., CCC-SLP, is an associate professor and interim department chair in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at Western Kentucky University and CHHS Chief Diversity Officer. Dr. Green regularly teach study abroad courses in Belgium, France, and the UK, in areas including pediatric rehabilitation.

Lauren E. Bland, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is an associate professor and graduate program director in the Communication Sciences and Disorders Department at Western Kentucky University. She is active in the Kentucky and Mississippi Speech Language and Hearing Associations and served on NSSLHA and ASHA committees, as well as the CAA board.

Jamie D. Fisher, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist and adjunct professor at Western Kentucky University. She received her Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University. She has over 15 years of experience as an SLP working with children and adults. Her clinical interests include speech, language, literacy, dysphagia, and FEES/MBSS.



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