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Making a Difference in Haiti

Each May, Better Hearing & Speech Month (BHSM) provides Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) the opportunity to talk about their life-altering treatment and the benefits therapy can provide to their clients. One of these benefits is the interdisciplinary relationship between the SLP and other medical professionals like occupational and physical therapists. This collaborative relationship can be mutually beneficial to both the therapists and the child we are serving, whether they are in the same therapy clinic or even on different continents! An example of this is our Haiti story.

Chelsea Dause, OTS and I first met at the AOTA conference in 2016. We talked about her upcoming mission, and she explained that many children with disabilities are abandoned by their parents and left in orphanages in Haiti. This is due to a cultural misconception that these anomalies mean that the children are cursed. With an abundance of children placed in orphanages and limited resources in Haiti, these children are rarely provided with the therapy and products they need to develop and improve their quality of life. She explained that she would be traveling to provide support to approximately 30 children with special needs, and team ezpz wanted to help!

To help with this feeding mission (ezpz products are great for feeding therapy and self-feeding!), we provided Happy Bowls and Mini Mats. Once in Haiti the team was off and running, and they provided some incredible orphans the feeding supplies and therapy they need to grow and thrive! The team consisted of over 15 occupational and physical therapists, students and volunteers and one very humbled Speech Language Pathologist from ezpz! Chelsea said, “It was amazing to see all the supplies be put to good use. The supplies provided the children with strategies that improve their independence, such as seeing a previously wheelchair-bound child walk independently with a gait trainer or seeing a child that originally needed to be spoon-fed find a way to feed themselves with little to no assistance.”

This beautiful story is a great example of how an interdisciplinary team of various professions can come together for a common goal. When you add feeding brands like ezpz, who want to help children with feeding challenges, the collaboration can be nothing short of a miracle. Thank you to Autumn Marshall OTR/L, and Chelsea Dause, OTS for sharing all of the highlights and pictures of the trip with us! And a huge thank you to the entire New Life Children’s Home therapy team for making miracles happen for kids in Haiti!

Teamwork improves the lives of children. Has a team of medical professionals helped your child with feeding? Share your story with us! #ezpzfun #teamwork 

Happy Feeding,

Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for ezpz

Photo Credit: Paul Joyner Photo

Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for ezpz

Dawn Winkelmann, a.k.a “Ms. Dawn”, has treated thousands of kids across the globe by helping families overcome picky eating stages and food refusals, while adding new foods into their diet. Her high success rate is attributed to Ms. Dawn bringing her education, experience, sense of humor and her favorite feeding products to the family dinner table.

You will find Ms. Dawn’s expert feeding advice to be positive and fun for the entire family! She adapts complicated feeding/swallowing research and makes it practical and easy for parents! Get ready to learn the science behind your favorite feeding products and ways to bring happy family mealtimes back!

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