Dr. Jamie Perry, PhD, Department Chair of the Communication Sciences & Disorders Department at East Carolina University is leading the way with teletherapy approaches to research the benefits and uses of teletherapy for the treatment of compensatory articulation errors in children with repaired cleft palate. Compensatory errors can be treated using skilled speech therapy targeting correct placement of the sound within the oral cavity. Patients with cleft palate have limited access to skilled speech therapy services in rural areas, especially in Eastern North Carolina. With the current program, the patient attends therapy once per week for 60 minutes in the graduate clinic. Two additional speech therapy sessions are provided via teletherapy during the week for 30 minutes each to practice new skills and knowledge acquired during the in-person therapy session. ECU also has a longstanding history of telehealth in pediatric audiology assessments (PIs, Dr. Andrew Stuart & Dr. Gregg Givens) and is currently investigating telehealth for stroke survivors living in rural eastern NC (PI, Dr. Charles Ellis). Based on the outcome of the present study, ECU Speech-Language and Hearing Clinic may consider partnering with the NC Scottish Rite for a future project to provide teletherapy to pediatric patients who have limited access. Currently, the NC Scottish Rite has supported this project by providing training to one of the researchers involved in this study.
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