How masks may be affecting children’s speech development

in Baton Rouge Round Up

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) – We’re one year into mask-wearing, and experts are looking at how masks may be affecting children’s speech development.

Babies and young children use our faces to learn and use visual cues they see when others are talking that play a key role in developing their own communication skills.

A speech-language pathologist at Baton Rouge General said masks have made it difficult for our little ones to see their parent’s faces or their staff at daycare.

“We’ve had really great pediatricians in the area that have done such a great job of being aware of what’s going on,” said Megan Dewberry, Speech-Language Pathologist with Baton Rouge General. “We’ve had really great early referrals. Early intervention is one of the best ways for us to know if a child is struggling; we’re able to catch them up quickly.

Dewberry also said when a little one is learning to speak, they’ll look at your eyes or your mouth to learn those sounds. With having the masks covering that area, it’s harder to develop that language. It’s especially true for kids spending more time at daycare during the week than at home with families.

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