Although cleft lip and palate is a medical condition that requires providing your child with extra help and support. It is a very manageable condition and the ability to help a child with this health need is something that many professionals are trained to do. If you are willing to put extra effort into your child this is something that can be easily taken care of and your child’s life will tremendously change. The most difficult part of having a child with a known medical condition is managing trips to the doctor. Initially it seems overwhelming- and it is. However, it is sooooo worth it.
Our son has been evaluated by a speech pathologist at our local school district. We are currently moving to a larger city to provide our children with the resources our family needs. Being closer to good medical care was a major concern. This summer Jai will be evaluated by several doctors and will begin the process of reevaluating his condition and receiving the treatment he needs. This is most likely another surgery to repair his palate, some plastic surgery on his lips, and eventually braces.
The good of this condition is that is can be fixed! Most cleft lip and palate surgeries can repair a person’s physical issues and therapy, etc. can help improve speech or other needs. It just takes time and commitment also, a willingness to place their needs above your own. The bad is that it can be a process and will take some time. However, it’s worth it!!!
Jai has done very well. He initially had trouble with culture shock. Food was very difficult for him and his lack of ability to speak English. However, he eventually began trying new foods and now is willing to eat much more than Ramen noodles! He has also started to pick up on English and is able to understand most of what people say to him. He still has difficulty responding, but that is to be expected.
Do it! A child with special needs in general needs a loving family that is willing to put extra time and effort into helping them. What a gift you can give to someone else and the joy that they will bring to your family is unimaginable.