(ConservativeInsider.org) – The debate over masks has been contentious, to say the least. Parents have expressed concern throughout the pandemic that forced face coverings could do long-term damage to children. A Florida expert recently confirmed there’s a reason for concern.
Speech and Learning Institute Clinical Director Jaclyn Theek told West Palm Beach’s WPBF 25 News that she has seen a 364% increase in the number of referrals for toddlers and babies. Parents and pediatricians are noticing a surge in delayed speech for kids. Theek explained that although there isn’t any research yet that supports the theory that masks are causing the delays, she believes it’s “most definitely” a factor.
A speech therapist says her clinic has seen a "364% increase in patient referrals of babies and toddlers".
"It's very important kids do see your face to learn, so they're watching your mouth."
What the hell have we done?!
End this cruel insanity. pic.twitter.com/DN6J4yQfju
— Darren Grimes (@darrengrimes_) January 26, 2022
According to Theek, babies learn how to speak by watching the faces of those around them. When mask mandates force parents to cover their faces, babies and toddlers can’t see their lips moving. That means they aren’t learning how to form words.
Theek went on to say that therapists are seeing a lot of kids exhibiting symptoms related to autism. “They’re not making any word attempts,” she said. They are seeing children who aren’t communicating with their families at all.
What can parents do? Experts recommend they seek speech therapy for their kids as early as possible. Early intervention is key. Most importantly, give them one-on-one attention at home without masks and create an environment where they can observe others speaking.
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