When a child is born with a craniofacial anomaly, this often increases a parent’s anxiety and there is a need for social and emotional support. The Center provides a variety of opportunities to meet these needs.
One way to reduce anxiety is to educate families about the condition so they can be active participants in the care of their child. The Center sponsors a yearly parent education seminar covering a variety of topics presented by the team professionals.
Several times during the year the Cleft Lip/Palate program has family events in Austin. The first event of the year is a spring family picnic. As a great way to end the year, we have a holiday party in December with arts and crafts, snacks and a picture with Santa. These get-togethers provide a great opportunity for families to meet each other and for a family to spend valuable time together.
Camp Amigo is a weekend camp for children with cleft lip/palate between the ages of 6-12 years held in the fall at Camp For All in Burton, TX. Staff from the Craniofacial Team serves as counselors and it is a great way for children to interact with peers in an activity filled weekend! For parents who would like to speak with other parents that have a child with the same or similar issue, the nurse coordinator or social worker can help link up families to each other for support. For this or any other questions contact Mary Breen, the nurse coordinator or Nick Conde-Dudding, the social worker, at 512-324-0918.
Parents and caregivers have the opportunity to speak to the social worker during their visit to the Craniofacial and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Center. The social worker can assist with a wide range of needs including:
- Help find appropriate HEALTH INSURANCE
- Refer to appropriate community resources for BASIC NEEDS such as food, clothing, housing, help with utility bills and rent
- Help find RECREATION PROGRAMS for special needs children
- Refer to COUNSELING SERVICES to help meet a child’s emotional and behavioral needs
- ADVOCATE for the child in the school system and/or identify a community agency that will advocate for the parents/caregivers
- Assist with finding appropriate PHYSICAL, SPEECH and OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY for the child
- Connect the family with a community CASE MANAGER to help the caregivers coordinate the child’s medical care and help with other necessary needs
- Refer parents to PARENT SUPPORT groups or community agencies that offer various services
The Child Life Department at Dell Children’s Medical Center is a vital component of your child’s healthcare team. Staffed by professionally trained individuals, our Child Life teams help children and their families cope with the emotional and psychological stress of hospitalization, illness, surgery and medical treatment. Trained to work with children in the hospital setting, our specialists act as advocates for patients and their families.
Please click on the link below to learn more about what Child Life services may be able to offer your child and family.