The effects that this current pandemic has had on all households is very destabilizing. Along with the negative impact it has on early childhood development. There have been struggling parents trying to find ways to play with their children indoors. But what can we do if this was unprecedented? Especially for mothers who were pregnant right before the lockdown. It has also been disheartening for parents and families who may have physical disabilities and/or mental health issues, even more so for those without social support from extended family/friends. How is it even possible to find the motivation to ensure our children are well fed with knowledge and develop appropriate play or social skills? Questions like these still remain unanswered as we battle through an endless road of "when is my child going to talk?" Anxieties may rise when you are unsure of whether or not it is a speech and language delay.
There is a key point to this. Always check your child's understanding before getting worried. You should only be concerned if there is not one form of response to (for example, their name, a simple instruction). By the age of 2, this is normal to grow at a pace that is not the same as other two year olds therefore, refrain from comparing your child to another. Paedatric nurses, speech and language therapists or nursery teachers will be able to assist you with these matters. By aged 3, it is noted by most developmentalists such as Jean Piaget and Erik Erikson that a child shoud be able to speak but we must remember to sift this evidence our own selves before panicking.
Delay, is okay
Thankfully, online tutoring has been prominent to elevate families. The restructure of delivering education has been positive because consistent socialization is an important part of your child's development. These interactions is how children learn the skills that influence their everyday life but moreso the relationships with others. In these current times, the virus has been so impactful on the education system therefore, "delay, is okay"
“During periods of social development, when a child is deprived of the opportunity to build these skills, it can potentially delay their socio-emotional development,” claims Dr. Barbara Nosa
Albert Bandura - Social Learning Theory
For more information, please research this to gain more knowledge based on the different patterns of behaviour in your child.
If you are curious to know what it is like to see progress in your child's verbal skills, then it would be best to look at development charts and milestones checklists but be mindful that not all children think the same; which goes into another part of your child's brain : cognition. Cognitive development literally goes hand in hand with Social development, why? Because there is in fact a visual concept to understanding how verbal skills are developed called THE COMMUNICATION CYCLE.
The correlations between emotions and the onset of covid has been positive therefore, we must also check on anxiety levels in children but for parents aswell. If we look further into the reasoning behind such major social delays then all our minds will be at ease. This is the connection that can raise more ideas most likely based on play therapy sessions such as drawing a picture of your face and asking how the child feels prior to a session with their teacher online and then asking them how they feel after their online lesson. If they do go back to school, you can ask your child again about how they are feeling. Note these down if you do intend on going to a speech therapist, social psychologist or paedatric nurse.
As previously stated, distancing is making it impossible for kids to continue to thrive socially but if we utilize what we have at this moment (face to face contact), then there is a way in which your child will succeed mentally. On the grounds of mental health support, we must ensure that talking to our kids about the uncontrollable (pandemic), will help them be more mindful about not only themselves but the world around them.
HI there! I have been working with families for over 15 years and have a resume that consists of various amounts of experiences. I have had great success with babies from 6 months old to young adults aged 21. Notably, these include working closely with parents, teachers, therapists in and out from schools to homes to enable the support necessary for children, young people and family members.