WPP conducts Mission for population with speech, behavioural deficiencies
Press Release
February 7, 2023

WPP conducts Mission for population with speech, behavioural deficiencies

The World Paediatric Project (WPP) says it is reaching a well needed portion of the population of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) with its most recent specialist paediatric speech and behaviour therapy mission that saw 116 persons last month.

This mission has expanded its scope to fill the varied needs of the children every time the team returns to SVG, a WPP release states.

Lead by Miriam Kerr who specializes in cleft lip and palate, speech and language disorders, the organization has added a specialized therapy component. This is because during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic increased behavioural problems were identified.

The team consisted of Amy Swaim, speech pathologist/therapist and behaviour analyst; Jill Hodge, Aprazia, stuttering and articulation disorder specialist; Wendi McMillian, augmentative communication; and Sarah Cunningham, speech language pathologist, early intervention and paediatric feed therapist. Local Consultant paediatrician and neurologist, Dr. Mishka Duncan-Adams along with local WPP staff, and hospital nurses were among the contingent that executed the flow of the clinic which ran from January 29-31 at the Helping Hands Centre in New Montose.

The WPP release says the team successfully completed cases here despite the challenge of not receiving their luggage with some of the necessary materials to complete their task.

Local lead consultant Paediatric Neurologist, Dr. Mishka Duncan-Adams said the clinic has been great as they started off on an exciting note seeing children with many different pathologies. The clinic ran simultaneously with both speech and behaviour interventions occurring at the same time.

She said they have noticed an influx in children with speech delays, although they are not sure exactly why; a lot of theories predict that the pandemic and early use of devices have resulted in speech deficits.

Dr. Duncan-Adams is encouraging parents to minimize the use of devices and to play more with their children as well as getting them associated with a social network early if possible as it is beneficial.

Speech, language therapist and behaviour analyst Amy Swaim, who has been travelling to SVG for the last five years, said some of the patients/children are doing better, due to the parents being much more involved. She said being home during the pandemic has helped with a language boost especially for parents who have been more involved.

She discouraged parents from allowing the devices to babysit their children and to make an effort to interact more and have conversations with them. She also identified using simple language, reading to children and engaging in continuous conversations with them as useful tips to help the children along.

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