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Language Delays in Children May 15, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Less IS More, People.

Smartphones do not create smart kids.

Just the opposite ~> early use of screen devices may cause language delays in kids.

In a new study of nearly 900 children between six months and two years old, researchers found that those who spent more time using handheld devices were more likely to have delays in expressive speech, compared to children who didn’t use the devices as much.

For every 30 minutes of screen time, there was a 49% increased risk of expressive speech delay. The research, which was led by pediatricians at the Hospital for Sick Children in Canada, was presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies.

The researchers say they did not find any effect of screen time on other communication skills, such as gesturing, body language or social interactions. But the effect on speech is worth investigating.

After all, why bother learning to talk when you can just press a button?

Now, step away from the Smartphone!

Unless, of course, you want to prove the adage: Β “Monkey see . . . Monkey do.”

Aah. . . that’s better!

To read more: Β Kids Who Use Smartphones Start Talking Later


1. Val Boyko - May 15, 2017

Good point Nancy! In a doctors waiting room last week, there was a Mom texting on her phone. The toddler was demanding and crying that it was her turn!!

nrhatch - May 15, 2017

ACK! Stop the world . . . I want to get off! πŸ˜€

2. Rainee - May 15, 2017

Another good post of yours for Facebook :). Thanks Nancy!

nrhatch - May 15, 2017

Spread the word!

3. Ally Bean - May 15, 2017

Not surprised, but saddened by this report. I remember when I was a child people used to make fun of individuals who watched too much TV by calling them vidiots [video + idiot]. Seems like there might be more to that idea than previously thought.

nrhatch - May 15, 2017

At least with TV, children are hearing spoken language and expanding their vocabulary.

Seeing this report of research results didn’t surprise me one bit. A few months back, I watched a 2-year-old with his view glued to the phone in his hand. When interrupted, he just grunted and went back to cyber-space. His parents admitted that his speech was delayed.

Ally Bean - May 15, 2017

No kidding! And the parents didn’t immediately yank the phone out of his hand? ☹️

nrhatch - May 15, 2017

Stupid parents ~> Stupid kids!

4. Jill Weatherholt - May 15, 2017

Oh Nancy, don’t even get me started on the Smartphone. You know where I stand. πŸ™‚

nrhatch - May 15, 2017

Yup . . . you’re standing right beside me!

5. Kate Crimmins - May 15, 2017

It’s true of adults too.

nrhatch - May 15, 2017

Absolutely . . .

But (most) adults learn to communicate with their peers before becoming wedded to their smart devices. Developmental delays in speech may stunt toddlers’ growth in other areas, causing life-long issues.

6. L. Marie - May 15, 2017

That’s really sad and scary, Nancy. I really wish parents would realize the value of instilling a love of reading and writing (actual handwriting) in children. Children miss key developmental stages when they only tap keys on a keyboard or phone.

nrhatch - May 15, 2017

Yes!!! Tapping keys and pressing buttons is NOT essential to a toddler’s development. Interacting with the real world is essential for maximizing communication skills.

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs both refused to allow their kids to have smart devices until they were something like age 10. Other parents should follow their lead.

7. Tiny - May 15, 2017

This is so scary, Nancy! Young parents are often encouraging the monkey business by being constantly clued to their smartphones. I see mothers pushing strollers while checking on their phones….

nrhatch - May 15, 2017

Yup. It’s a Pandemic Epidemic and most addicts don’t even realize the hold their phone has over their attention, etc.

8. Piglet in Portugal - May 15, 2017

It amazed us that our 2.5 year old grandson was more adept at using the iPad than we were!

nrhatch - May 15, 2017

Quick! Send a link to the article to your grandson’s parents!

Piglet in Portugal - May 20, 2017

He is already fluent in French and English. In fact, he can speak English, including the nuances, better than some adults LOL.
He has an answer for everything in BOTH languages… I pity his parents when he becomes a teenager!

nrhatch - May 20, 2017

Lucky for them that many teens retreat into stoney silence for the duration. πŸ˜€

9. roughwighting - May 15, 2017

Interesting statistics! I’m not surprised, are you? I wish more parents would put a good ole hardback illustrated children’s book in their kids’ hands…

nrhatch - May 15, 2017

Nope. NOT surprised. The article substantiated what I’ve long suspected . . . and seeing toddlers grunting like ignorant pigs (instead of using real words like human beings) is both sad and unnecessary.

Here’s to old fashioned printed on paper BOOKS!

roughwighting - May 16, 2017

πŸ“š Books rule!

nrhatch - May 16, 2017

They do!

10. Debra - May 15, 2017

Very interesting study, and believable. I’m fairly certain I’ve lost some IQ points from my own smart phone connection. I’m working on that! πŸ˜€

nrhatch - May 16, 2017

Please do. You’re too astute to lose!

I love to be “off line” and “unplugged” for most of the day. When I’m at my desk, I’m available by phone and e-mail. When away from my desk, I’m not. I’m on ME time!

11. diannegray - May 16, 2017

Imagine in the future if we suddenly lose all this technology, Nancy – we’ll have a population of young ones who have no idea about communication or survival (or anything else for that matter). The true survivors would be the over 40s (hey – that’d make a good book) πŸ˜‰

nrhatch - May 16, 2017

And you’re just the person to write it!

12. frompillartoposts - May 18, 2017

Very interesting read! Never really considered the implications of smartphones on speech development. I do think it also has an effect on creative development though. Instead of entertaining themselves, using their imagination and creating things, they are directly stimulated by a digital world on a phone. Sometimes so fresh air and a good stick is the best thing I think (For sword fighting dragons of course) πŸ˜€

nrhatch - May 18, 2017

Yes!!! Fresh air and a stick . . . or a big box to use as a boat, a rocket ship, a fort, etc.

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