Kean University Offers Symposium On Communication Disorders

UNION – Kean University’s Department of Communication Disorders and Deafness and Monmouth Medical Center’s Regional Cleft Palate Center will co-sponsor a symposium, Medical/Dental Implications, Speech and Educational Strategies for Children with Cleft Palate, on Wednesday, Oct. 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at Monmouth Medical Center, Long Branch.

The all-day symposium will feature a series of workshops to identify and to discuss the medical and dental implications of cleft palate. The symposium aims to assist speech language pathologists in schools, hospitals and private practice in recognizing the condition. Speech Language Pathologist Karen Golding-Kushner, Ph.D. will be the keynote speaker.


Golding-Kushner is the executive director of the Velo-Cardio-Facial Syndrome Educational Foundation. She is internationally recognized for her work with cranio-facial disorders and serves as a Fellow of the American Speech Language and Hearing Association.

Cleft palate is a congenital disorder that may occur in isolation or as part of a broader syndrome. It may affect many aspects of a person’s development, including feeding, hearing, speech, language and learning. Participants who attend the symposium will be able to:

  • Restate key medical, dental and social sequelae of cleft palate.
  • Identify key aspects of cleft palate assessment.
  • Relate hearing deficits of cleft palate with academic and speech/language performance.
  • Define key resonance, voice and articulation problems often associated with cleft palate.
  • Develop and sequence a treatment plan to establish normal speech for children with cleft palate and know what procedures do not work.
  • Identify risk factors for language and learning problems in children with cleft palate and common syndromes such as Velo-Cardio Facial Syndrome.

Other speakers at the conference include Monmouth Medical Center’s Regional Cleft Palate Center representatives Helene Henkel, R.N., coordinator, Eric Wurmser, M.D., medical director and plastic surgeon, John Young, Jr. D.D.S., orthodontist, Alan B. Gertner, PhD, audiologist and associate professor in Kean’s department of Communication Disorders and Deafness, and Nancy Wagner, M.A., social worker.

The symposium is recommended for pediatricians, dentists, nurses, speech therapists, parents and other healthcare members, as well as the general public. A registration fee of $100 is required by October 15. For additional information or to register, contact Helene Henkel at 1-732-923-7653 or e-mail

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