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Many children with a cleft lip have no problems or concerns psychologically, but we know that parents often worry about how their child will develop and about difficulties they may face in the future.

There is support available to you and your child from the psychologist or counsellor at any stage. Parents may want information about how to support their child through the treatment. Some parents are unsure what to tell other people or how to talk to their child about their cleft. Others are concerned about the possibility of teasing when their child starts school. Occasionally, children with a cleft can have some additional learning needs and the psychology team will be available to discuss any concerns with you.

How we support you

All children under the care of the Cleft team have a routine assessment with one of the Psychology team around the age of three. We also attend the review clinics and muti-disciplinary  clinics (at ages five, ten, 15 and 20).

We also offer individual support for any cleft- related issues including:

  • Coming to terms with a diagnosis.
  • Dealing with difficult situations.  
  • Appearance concerns.
  • Preparing for change, e.g. change of school, house move, post-surgery adjustment, relationship changes.

We have written information available about a wide range of topics including:

  • Cleft team contacts in your area.
  • Handouts giving tips and advice about specific difficulties.
  • We also have DVDs about treatment.

Support in your area

If you live a long way from the University of Bristol Dental Hospital, we also have 'link' psychologists throughout the South West who can provide local support. We are happy to chat with you on the phone to discuss how we can help. It doesn't have to be a big problem before you contact us.