The Communication Sciences and Disorders Program at Butler University

Each fall members from the Cleft and Craniofacial Clinic at Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health visit Butler University to speak to the Introduction to Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD) class. The class, which covers the causes and treatment of speech conditions, has a section on cleft palate. Our panel presentation provides an introduction to the Cleft Clinic at Riley Hospital, embryology, management of cleft lip and palate, and an introduction to Camp About Face - our nationally recognized program for children with facial birth defects.

Participating on the panel were Pat Terrell MSN, pediatric nurse practitioner at Riley Hospital, Carol Ritter, RN, craniofacial nurse clinician, and Trish Severns, MA, program coordinator. The students are primarily freshman Communication Sciences and Disorders students, but the course serves as a popular elective for students of other majors, including the College of Pharmacy.

This year we spoke to two sessions with approximately 32 students in each class.“ I very much appreciate the panel’s efforts to help beginning CSD students understand the area of cleft palate and acquaint them with the excellent work done at Riley for this population”, states Suzanne Reading, PhD, director of the CSD program at Butler and class professor. “You all present yourselves as kind and compassionate people, another important teaching aspect for beginning students.”

In addition to patient care, one of the missions of the Cleft and Craniofacial program is promoting craniofacial awareness. By providing education to college students as well as to medical and dental students, we are ensuring that quality care will continue to be available for cleft patients for generations to come.