06 Nov 2013 10:57:49 MST Written by: Leann Tobin


After reading the book Pete’s a Pizza, children enrolled in MMH’s Scottish Rite Speech and Language Program participated in a “pizza experience.”  The children were “made into pizza” by being stretched and rolled into dough, sprayed with “oil” (water), and “pepperoni” (checkers) was placed on their backs.  After this, they actually made pizza and ate it!

This is just one example of the fun, creative and therapeutic activities for children who have language disorders and/or cognitive delays that participate in the Speech and Language program at Montrose Memorial Hospital.  Services are provided to children who have difficulty with communication.  This includes those who have difficulty saying words, understanding what others are saying to them, and those who have trouble putting words together in sentences.  We also provide services to kids who have hearing loss, autism, stutter, swallowing difficulties and those who need specialized equipment to be able to make their needs and wants known because they can’t talk.

Children learn language and speech by listening to their parents, other family members, and friends speak. From the earliest months of life, babies listen to the sounds around them and are especially responsive to people talking.  As the infant develops, he or she practices making sounds and putting words together.  Over time and in stages, children learn the rules of language. For 90% of children, learning language, mastering the ability to speak, and developing reading and writing skills comes naturally. Ten percent of children, however, exhibit delays in speaking or using language, including reading and writing. These are the children we can help.

Funding for many of these children comes from the Scottish Rite Foundation, which is the charitable arm of the Masons.  The Montrose Scottish Rite Masons serve as the advisory group for the program and they have a committee who are involved in the selection of children through an application process.  MMH has been working with the Masons since 1998, and the group has donated over $1,150,186 to the speech-language therapy services for children with inadequate insurance for speech services and those unable to qualify for Medicaid.  There are currently 44 children in our programs who are being served through the Scottish Rite Foundation.       

If you would like to learn more about the Speech and Language program at Montrose Memorial Hospital please call 240-7369.

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