August 5, 2022

Therapists Say They’re Treating Children with Developmental Issues from COVID Restrictions

Monday, 24 August was Amelia's first day of school. She attends the Childhood Development and Learning Lab at Central Michigan University (Dan Gaken).
Monday, 24 August was Amelia's first day of school. She attends the Childhood Development and Learning Lab at Central Michigan University (Dan Gaken).

By Eric Daugherty

August 5, 2022 Updated 10:12 A.M. ET

SAN FRANCISCO (FLV) – KRON4 News reports that parents’ children are “playing catch up” from the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions on learning components like understanding facial cues and reading comprehension.

6 year-old Maranella is being helped at her school in improving these components of learning.

“Pre-covid we did have those issues, and Maranella has been in therapy since she’s been two and a half years old,” parent Joseph Giannelli told KRON4. “Since the pandemic we’ve noticed her a little more delayed.”

“You just can’t read what your friend is feeling. You can’t read what your friend’s facial expressions are when you can’t see their mouth.”

“Maranella has been working on those essential language skills — so understanding other people’s facial expressions, understanding other people’s emotions,” Page Cianciolo, a speech-language pathologist, said. “We weren’t able to experience those normal interactions with kids and we weren’t able to problem solve. We were on screens or we were just isolated. So that just caused a big delay from our little ones all the way up to high school.”

The pathologist also said that isolation – lockdowns – also played a large role in hindering development of children. “We pick up so much from people’s facial expressions even our body language too, so I think the pandemic played a big role in that for her,” she said.

Christina Pushaw, press secretary for Gov. Ron DeSantis, slammed proponents of lockdowns and mask mandates, saying that so-called “experts” deserve “contempt and ridicule.”

Pushaw referenced a Tweet from the American Academy of Pediatrics that claimed “there are no studies to support” that masked caregivers will harm the language development of children. “Young children will use other clues like gestures and tone of voice,” they said.

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