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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Smile Train’s Sustainable Approach to Global Cleft Care
Since 1999, Smile Train has supported 1,500,000+ cleft surgeries for people of all ages. Join Pamela Sheeran, Smile Train’s Vice President of Strategic Programs and Partnerships, as she shares an overview of Smile Train’s programs and progress towards achieving their ultimate goal: A world where everyone has access to safe, high-quality comprehensive cleft care and is able to live a full and healthy life.
Smile Train’s Cleft Community Advisory Council in Conversation
Join Smile Train’s President and CEO, Susannah Schaefer, in candid conversation with members of Smile Train’s Cleft Community Advisory Council (CCAC). The CCAC is a group of cleft-affected individuals who help advance Smile Train’s communications strategies and strengthen the cleft community. They’ll share their personal cleft journeys and discuss ways the global cleft community can work together to raise awareness and foster greater acceptance for people with clefts.
My Journey from Being Born with a Cleft to Working for Cleft Charities
Gareth Davies, Executive Director of the European Cleft Organization, opens up about his experiences growing up with a cleft, founding and leading two major cleft support charities, and all the lessons he’s learned along the way.
Giving Back to the Cleft Community
The global cleft community is known for its generosity and commitment to helping one another. This session highlights three cleft-affected individuals who exemplify our values, who noticed needs within the community and took creative — and inspiring — action to meet them.
Educating Your Networks About Clefts
One of the most challenging parts of having a facial difference can be explaining it to others. Whether it’s family, friends, teachers, other students, or co-workers, a common lack of understanding can lead to some pretty uncomfortable social interactions. In this session, our panelists will share their own cleft journeys, talk about how they navigate those awkward situations, and give us all some advice on how we can do the same.
Building Your Own Cleft Community
Three leading cleft activists discuss the why’s and how’s behind the online and in-person cleft communities they established — what the journey to form them looked like and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. Participants will come away empowered to themselves build community with other cleft-affected individuals and families.
The Journey of a Cleft Mom
A Cleft Mommy's Bond of Friendship (ACMBOF) is a private Facebook group cleft mommy Lisa Wyzlic created to provide love, comfort, and support to families throughout their child's cleft journey. Since its founding in 2012, ACMBOF has engaged with and provided support to thousands of cleft-affected families throughout the world. In this session, Lisa will share the inspirational story behind ACMBOF and highlight some of the special families she has worked with along the way.
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.