The Comprehensive Craniofacial Clinic at Children’s provides diagnostic and treatment services for children up to age 21 who have many medical diagnoses including:

  • Oculoauriculovertebral (OAV) syndrome
  • Treacher Collins syndrome
  • Beckwith-Weidemann syndrome

What to expect during a Craniofacial Clinic Evaluation

During a Craniofacial Clinic evaluation, your child will be seen by a multi-disciplinary team of specialists that may include:

  • Audiology
  • Child Psychology
  • Genetic Counseling
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Orthodontics
  • Pediatric Dentistry
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Otolaryngology/Ear Nose & Throat (ENT)
  • Plastic Surgery
  • Speech-Language Pathology

Full-Day Evaluations

If your child is scheduled for a full-day evaluation please plan on spending the day with us. The morning will consist of one-on-one evaluations with the audiologist, nurse practitioner, speech-language pathologist and child psychologist (if needed). Additional procedures such as dental x-rays may also be completed during the morning. Before lunch, our clinic assistant will provide a time for your afternoon team evaluation.

The afternoon team evaluation is typically 30 minutes in length and includes an exam by the plastic surgeon, ENT, oral surgeon, and orthodontist. During that time, the plan of care will be discussed and recommendations will be reviewed. A genetic counselor will also be available to answer questions you or your child may have.

At the end of your child’s visit, you will receive a summary of recommendations including referral information and follow-up appointments. A copy of the team report will be sent to you, your child’s primary care provider, and other providers at your request.


Afternoon-only Evaluations

Afternoon-only evaluations are typically recommended for older children without speech or hearing concerns. It is typically 30 minutes in length and includes a brief interview with the nurse practitioner, a speech screen, and an exam by the plastic surgeon, ENT, oral surgeon and orthodontist. During that time, the plan of care will be discussed and recommendations will be reviewed. A genetic counselor will also be available to answer questions you or your child may have.

At the end of your child’s visit, you will receive a summary of recommendations including referral information and follow-up appointments. A copy of the team report will be sent to you, your child’s primary care provider and other providers at your request.


Speech-only Evaluations

Speech-only Comprehensive Craniofacial Clinic visits are typically recommended for patients who are being monitored for ongoing resonance concerns and/or possible “speech” surgery. It is a 20-30 minute appointment with the speech-language pathologist that focuses on evaluating your child’s speech and resonance, monitoring progress in therapy and making recommendations regarding speech therapy and/or surgical intervention to improve communication skills.


What to bring to a Comprehensive Craniofacial Clinic Evaluation

  • Recent dental x-rays
  • Copies of recent medical records from non-Children’s providers
  • Speech therapy records including IEP and/or outpatient progress notes

How to schedule an appointment

Appointments for all of our Cleft & Craniofacial Center teams may be scheduled by contacting the clinic assistant at (612) 813-6888.


Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my child need to see the Speech Pathologist if he/she is already in speech therapy?

The Comprehensive Craniofacial Clinic Speech-Language Pathologists (SLP) are specialists in the unique concerns associated with cleft palate. During an evaluation, the team SLP will talk to your child to evaluate his/her articulation and resonance and review your child’s therapy plan. The team SLPs work closely with speech pathologists in the community to ensure that your child is receiving appropriate speech therapy. In addition, the SLP will serve as a liaison between your child’s speech pathologist and the Cleft Palate Team.

Can you help me find a pediatric dentist?
Yes, we can. The Craniofacial Clinic works with a number of pediatric dentists throughout the state and we can recommend them to you. Please ask one of the staff for their business card.

My child will need orthodontic expansion before undergoing bone grafting. Is this treatment covered by my dental or my medical insurance?
Orthodontic treatment needed due to clefting is typically covered under your medical insurance in Minnesota. Please discuss with your orthodontic office before your treatment begins.

How can I address teasing or questions regarding my child’s appearance?
It is important for parents to remember that research suggest that the majority of children do not have adjustment difficulties and are able to function in a manner typical for their age. Provide your child with opportunities for success and a feeling of competence. Help your child early on learn to manage discomfort and teasing (using words rather than aggressive patterns) and remember it won’t help for you to be overprotective.

How should we tell our child about craniofacial anomalies and why they have it?
Our team can recommend several age specific resources and stories from patients to help explain clefting and other craniofacial concerns to your child or others.


Additional Resources

The Cleft Palate Foundation “Cleftline”
(800) 242-5338