Awareness and Acceptance: Keys to Empowering Kids with Craniofacial Anomalies

Child HealthUntil now, children and adults with craniofacial anomalies remain in the margins of society. They often become subjects of mockery, and those who cannot receive treatment have to live with the stigma throughout their lives. These people are humans, too, who are capable of making positive contributions to society. The key is to empower them as early as childhood.

Understanding Craniofacial Disorders

Craniofacial disorders affect two to three percent of all babies born throughout the globe. Oral cleft is among the most widely known and common congenital anomaly, occurring in about 1 in every 700 live births. Genetic predisposition, pre-natal nutrition, exposure to certain drugs, and other environmental factors contribute to its occurrence.

Many children develop craniofacial abnormalities in their infancy. They could be birth defects or early symptoms of more serious conditions, such as Pierre Robin Sequence, Miller Syndrome or Atresia. Though some cases are treatable through surgery, many children have to live with more serious abnormalities, especially those that involve the skull and bones.

Empowering Kids with Craniofacial Anomalies

The medical community specializing in treating and helping children and adults with craniofacial disorders stresses that awareness and acceptance are the most important keys to empowering them. Medical and academic organizations and individuals should work hand in hand in educating more people about this condition.

CranioFacial MD asserts that awareness should also come with acceptance. Acceptance means acknowledging that people afflicted with craniosynostosis are also valuable members of society who deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.

Awareness and acceptance should begin as early as infancy so patients don’t develop self-esteem issues and social anxiety in the future. With enough support and care from others, they will also learn to accept their condition and not define their lives based on a facial defect.

However relatively rare this condition is, millions of people throughout the globe live with this disorder. Millions of lives remain as objects of mockery or, worse, pity, since pity is just as degrading and humiliating as mockery. Governments should invest and support research to improve treatments and reduce the occurrence of this condition. This will provide researchers and specialists the tools and authority to make a difference in these people’s lives.