GREAT FALLS — Alluvion Health now offers free speech pathology screenings for individuals of all ages on Fridays from 10 a.m. until noon.
These screenings are a way to identify speech or communication issues in speakers of all ages, from young children to those into the late stages of adulthood.
Diondra Denton, Alluvion Health’s speech pathology clinical intern, meets with patients to assess their ability in a variety of speech and communication areas. “I screen on speech sounds, language, the ability to understand or express one’s ideas,” Denton said.
Those undergoing screenings include children who have a hard time being understood by familiar listeners as well as those with underlying health concerns, like those who have undergone a stroke or suffer from Parkinson’s disease.
“A screening will determine whether or not there’s an issue that can be solved, and if so then we’ll go through further evaluation,” Denton said.
She elaborated on which children might benefit from screening. “If your child is about three years old, they should be able to be about 70 percent understood by an unfamiliar listener,” Denton said.
Other indicators that a screening might be beneficial include:
- A lot of sounds that are hard to make out
- Missing sounds
- Dropping sounds off
After the screening is over, Denton will work with a licensed speech language pathologist to determine if further assessment is needed.
“A screening will determine whether or not there’s an issue that can be solved, and if so then we’ll go through further evaluation...After that initial screening, what we would do is call them back in for evaluation basically like a standardized assessment. And that’ll tell me what skills need to be worked on and from there we can find specific goals to work on to get them to become a better communicator,” Denton said.
Screenings are available at Alluvion Health, located at 601 1st Avenue North in Great Falls. Friday’s screening window is from 10 a.m. to noon. If you’d like to schedule an appointment outside those hours, you can contact Alluvion Health at 406-454-6973 to set up a different screening time.