Girl Having Fine Motor Development Lesson With Therapist

Alarming studies are beginning to emerge that show a significant increase in speech delays for children after politicians needlessly locked them down and kept them from socializing during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Wall Street Journal, citing analytics company Truveta, reported that analysis of 2.5 million children younger than 5, found that first-time speech delay diagnosis increased by an average of 1.6 times for children younger than 5 from between 2018-19 and 2021-22.

The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association released a survey of 1,000 health care professionals who say they’re seeing a major jump in children with speech delays and undiagnosed hearing problems that went undetected during COVID-19.

“We learned that one-third of our audiology members discovered young children were experiencing undiagnosed hearing loss during this time [the pandemic],” Dr. Robert Augustine, the head of the group said. “Similarly, 80 percent of our certified speech-language pathologists were discovering delays in language and difficulties in language as a result of the pandemic.”

Thirty-four percent of audiologists reported seeing more children with a delayed diagnosis of hearing loss. 

About 84 percent of speech-language pathologists reported more children with emotional or behavioral difficulties, 79 percent reported more children with delayed language or diagnosed language disorders, and 78 percent report more children with social communication difficulties than before the pandemic, the report said.

Specialists say they have a backlog of parents looking for appointments.

“I have patients who have been waiting for weeks and weeks,” Dr. Caroline Martinez, a developmental pediatrician and medical director of developmental Pediatrics at Mount Sinai Health System in New York, told the WSJ. She blamed social isolation and pandemic-related stress among parents likely contributed to the delays.

TRENDPOST: The Trends Journal has reported extensively on how COVID-19 lockdowns played a detrimental role in the mental health of millions of Americans, especially the children. (See “AS FORECAST: U.S. SCHOOL CHILDREN GETTING DUMBER AFTER COVID LOCKDOWNS” and “COVID-19 LOCKDOWNS DID IRREPARABLE DAMAGE FOR GENERATION OF STUDENTS, AS THE TRENDS JOURNAL FORECAST.” )

The COVID-19 lockdowns did nothing to stop the spread of the virus and did incalculable damage to an entire generation of Americans, and yet not one politician or health official is going to see their careers end. Indeed, there was not one scintilla of scientific data to support the measures.

The first three years are the most important in a child’s brain development, with more than 1 million neural connections formed every second, “laying down the infrastructure of the brain,” USA Today noted. At least 85 percent of the brain development occurs before age 5.

Komodo Health noted that speech disorder diagnoses in children more than doubled during the outbreak and only increased more as the lockdowns continued. About 1.5 million children ages 0 to 12 received a new diagnosis in 2022, Fierce Healthcare reported. The previous average was about 570,000 a year. 

These children have already been referred to as the “COVID generation.”

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