The theme for this yearÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s conference was “Setting a positive agenda in cleft & craniofacial care”. The conference was attended by members of cleft teams from both Temple Street & Crumlin hospitals.
The first day was dedicated to Special Interest Groups such as Co-ordinators, Speech Language therapists, Nurses, Orthodontists, Psychologists & Surgeons. Day two included presentations from guest speakers and members. Topics included “Effect of Palate re-repairs on the airway”, ‘Nature of feeding Patterns in Infants with Cleft”, “Breast Feeding & Breast Milk Feeding”, “Behavioral Treatment of Social Anxiety in Children with Cleft”, “Bullying and Appearance”and “SLT Results of 2 year Old Assessment”.
Emily Lovegrove gave her talk on Bully & Appearance. Research has found that 75% of 11-13 year olds with no disfigurement cite teasing or bulling about their appearance causes them distress. 38% of them admit discomfort around disfigurement issues.
Concerns were further identified as being compounded by the lack of effective coping strategies. Ms. Lovegrove spoke about intervention strategies that she has used with disfigured and non-disfigured adolescents. Research shows that offering all young people the social skills they need to cope with teasing or bulling about appearance may not just substantially reduce general bullying but may also reduce that specifically targeted as disfigured population.
The Association would like to thank Anne McGillivary for giving us this report.