Did the pandemic increase speech delays? Some researchers say yes.
According to several recent studies, pandemic-era children are talking less than their predecessors1. As a parent to a pandemic toddler — Lochlan turned six months old in March 2020 — this concerns me deeply.
I’m not an expert in speech pathology, but some data seems to show both a measurable uptick in referrals to speech therapy2 and “a decline in verbal functioning”.1 One starts to wonder if maybe the kids are not okay3 in our current pandemic-response environment. (Researchers in at least one study indicated “factors related to the pandemic had ‘by far the greatest impact on infant and toddler neurodevelopment.'”1 )
It’s easy to feel helpless when the the broader global situation remains so complex and convoluted. But there is an immediately actionable response in our grasp: read books aloud, and talk to our kids!Continue reading “Did the Pandemic Increase Speech Delays? (plus, Board Books for Speech Therapy)”