Iva Ballou | Facial Difference Advocate

A facial difference affects more than the way one speaks. It can also affect learning, behavior, social abilities, self-confidence, and everyday interactions with others. Corrective surgery can help a child better navigate a world where people with facial differences are a common phobia. But as Iva Ballou knows from personal experience, in the United States whether a child with a cleft or craniofacial anomalies receives the medical attention and surgeries they desperately need depends entirely on which state they happen to live in. Third-party payers often deny coverage for orthodontic care of cleft palates and craniofacial patients on the basis that such procedures are cosmetic or medically unnecessary. Today, complete comprehensive cleft care varies not just from state to state, but from country to country. And that needs to change.
Iva Ballou

Iva Ballou is the Community Development Manager for Smile Train, a Motivational Speaker, Cleft Confidence Coach, and a Facial Difference Advocate who uses her gifts to increase awareness and education for the facial difference community. She is also a co-host of the Love Meets Joy podcast. She discusses her journey and all things cleft in this honest and empowering series. Through finding her RealSophisticatedJoy, she now empowers others to pivot from shame to confidence in their journey.