2020 Cleft Con Session Recordings

Connect. Engage. Share Smiles.

Cleft Con 2020

We are happy to share recorded sessions from our 2020 Virtual Cleft Con; we hope you find them as inspiring, eye-opening, and edifying as we do! If you would like to request one of these speakers for an upcoming meeting or event, please email cleftcon@smiletrain.org.

Keynote: My Journey to Becoming CleftProud

CleftProud founder Henry Baddour shares his cleft journey and the incredible story of how CleftProud came to be. Key to this story is how he came to change his perspective on his cleft, and how you (or your child) can do the same.

Cleft Con Sessions

Growing Up With a Cleft

How Pre-Verbal and Early Language Play Lay the Groundwork for Healthy Adult Social and Emotional Development

Dr. Kenneth Gorfinkle, a renowned professor of medical psychology at New York Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University, shares his insights on how parents can help develop their cleft-affected child’s verbal and non-verbal communication skills during those critical first two years of life. 

Questions, Teasing, and Bullying

A Grown-up’s Guide to Helping Children with Clefts

Dr. Jennifer Ludrosky, an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychology at the West Virginia University, provides caregivers a framework for helping their children talk about their cleft and recognize and address teasing and bullying. Topics will include coaching assertive communication, coping with distress, and managing interactions with schools. 

Cleft Care and Navigating the U.S. Insurance System

Cleft-affected families in the U.S. face enough challenges; ensuring that their insurance covers the many different components of cleft treatment their loved ones need should never be one of them. Join Matt Mortier, Director of Compliance at Colorado’s Division of Insurance, as he gives an overview of Colorado’s cleft coverage mandate and expert advice on how to connect with your state’s Division of Insurance.

Talking the Talk So You Can Walk the Walk

A Look at the Role of Patient-Doctor Communication in Cleft Treatment 

Join cleft patient and cleft community activist Beth Angella as she shares her personal journey and reflects on the importance of patient-doctor communication.  Participants will leave this session feeling empowered to advocate for themselves in the doctor’s office. We especially recommend this talk for cleft-affected teenagers and young adults who are just starting to navigate care on their own.  

Roundtable Expert Q&A with US Cleft Team Psychologists

I just learned my child will be born with a cleft — what do I do? How will I ever navigate advocating for my child at school and making so many decisions about surgery? How has COVID-19 affected cleft care? Does cleft treatment over Zoom really work? Are there any special precautions people with clefts need to take when wearing facemasks? In this roundtable, top psychologists specializing in cleft and craniofacial care discuss these and more of the burning questions our community faces today.

Legal Disclaimer

The information provided in these recordings is meant to be helpful to you and is for informational purposes only.  The information contained here should not be relied upon for any specific purpose or used as a substitute for medical advice.  While we attempt to thoroughly address specific topics, it is not possible to address every unique situation.  Please consult a professional with any questions you might have.  Although we attempt to provide accurate and up-to-date information, we make no guarantee to that effect and are not responsible for the content of these resources.  All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of these recordings are hereby disclaimed.  The content is provided “as is” and no representations are made that the content is error-free.