Camp Jersig 2011: The inaugural camp was open to children with cleft lip and/or palate.
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Jersig Center's first CLP summer camp a success

In the summer of 2011, the Harry Jersig Speech and Hearing Center at Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) offered, Camp Jersig, a first-of-its-kind camp for local children with cleft lip and/or cleft palate (CLP).

Nine children, ages four to 10, participated in the two-week treatment camp, designed by
Christine Carmichael, PhD, assistant professor of OLLU's Communication and Learning Disorders program. The youth received individual and group speech services in the form of fun activities like story time, gross motor play, and fine motor arts and crafts. The camp provided parents with information about local resources for children with CLP.

"I think we made a lot of progress with the children's speech and social skills,"  Dr. Carmichael said.  "Most of all, we provided a setting where no one teases them about the way they talk or the scars on their faces; a place where they felt safe and normal. Some children wanted to come to camp on the weekends, too, and others didn't want the camp to end."

The camp provided activities in a fun and comfortable setting.
Local donors who helped fund the camp, included: St. Luke's Health Ministries, with a $10,000 grant; Texas Cavaliers’ Charitable Foundation, who awarded OLLU with a $2,800 grant last April; and several local restaurants who donated lunch. See the sponsors page.

Dr. Carmichael said the camp was the first of its kind in the area and OLLU students benefited as well. Speech-Language Pathology graduate students were trained to evaluate and treat children during the program, which was staffed by OLLU faculty and graduate students in Communication Disorders and Social Work.

“Our therapy team sought to create an all-expenses-paid camp experience to benefit children with cleft lip and/or palate (CLP) from San Antonio’s West Side,” Dr. Carmichael said.

OLLU would like to offer the camp each summer and is currently looking for donors for 2012.

The Harry Jersig Speech-Language-Hearing Center is the training facility of OLLU's Communication and Learning Disorders Program and serves as a clinic dedicated to children and adults with communication disorders in the San Antonio area. Visit the Center online.



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