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Cleft Palate J. 1990 Apr;27(2):169-74; discussion 174-5.

Training assistants in cleft palate speech therapy in the developing world: a report.

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Dental Department, Hospital for Sick Children, London, England.


This paper describes the training, which took place in Sri Lanka, of five speech therapy assistants in cleft palate speech therapy. The context in which this training occurred is described. The original aims of the training and the criteria drawn up for the selection of the assistants are contrasted with the modifications required to these, once the British therapists started working in Sri Lanka. Information is given on the training objectives, syllabus, curriculum, and methods of evaluation of the assistants' progress. The achievements of the assistants are described. Factors relating to the difficulties and ease with which the assistants were trained are highlighted. The paper concludes with a discussion of the cultural, political, and clinical problems encountered in this type of training, and highlights the special difficulties encountered in the training of assistants in the field of speech therapy in developing countries.

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