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Cleft Care Closer to Home: Lokeshwaran

Early in his life, Lokeshwaran - now 18 years old - had surgery to address his cleft palate. Without access to speech therapy, however, he always struggled to be understood.

At long last, one of his teachers pointed him to a possible solution. SRIHER, a long-time Transforming Faces partner based in Chennai, India could offer Lokeshwaran a speech and audiology assessment. It was a daunting recommendation, as Chennai was a 4-hour journey from their village near Tiruvannamalai.

Lokeshwaran's parents arranged for him to make the journey to SRIHER. There, he received an initial assessment with the good news that SRIHER would be able to help much closer to home.

The Tiruvannamalai district camp was only a 25 km journey from Lokeshwaran’s home. From October to December, Lokeshwaran would attend regular speech therapy 3 to 4 times per week.

Working with his Speech-Language Pathologist, Lokeshwaran has made strides with his speaking clarity and has built his self-confidence. His parents now believe that whether he decides to go to college or to start a business, the same work ethic that he demonstrates in speech therapy will lead him to a good life.