Experts blame pandemic for speech delays in children

Published: Jun. 7, 2022 at 5:57 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Speech-language pathologists are blaming the pandemic for an increase in the number of children with delayed speech development.

Experts attribute the problem to young kids being isolated without play dates or pre-school, parents not exchanging information about their growing children and masks preventing kids from seeing facial expressions.

“We need to think about are they understanding what we’re saying? How do they show us that? Are they imitators, reaching and pointing, asking us for things? Can they imitate the words that we’re offering them? So there’s a lot that goes into being a communicator,” said Megan Seidner, a speech-language pathologist with UVM Health & Hospice. “If you’re having concerns reach out to your pediatrician.”

Seidner says kids should move through the early foundations of language at a steady clip: looking at you, back-and-forth vocalizations and imitating people.

She says if a child is behind, with help, they can catch up.

Watch the video to see our Darren Perron’s full conversation with Megan Seidner.

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