Toddlers in the UK could be screened for speech problems because many are so addicted to TV and video games that they fail to learn basic communication skills.
According to an article in the Telegraph, “barely a 10th of children in some areas can repeat even one nursery rhyme and, in extreme cases, some do not even know their own name.”
“If children are in a home in which they are getting insufficient stimulation, where there is not enough interaction, or where communication through the spoken word is not as common or extensive or imaginative as it might be, that is bound to have an impact. The reality is that for far too long, speech and language problems have been under-recognised.”- Tory MP John Bercow
The nationwide screening for two-year-olds is being considered to take on the problem that some experts say is now more prevalent than dyslexia or autism. Testing would be done in a similar manner as screening for hearing, eyesight, and other childhood development checks.
The blame is being placed on the demise of the traditional family meal time, parents who work long hours, and poor childcare with little to no stimulation, and proponents point to the future societal issues that this problem will bring.
“Children with untreated speech difficulties are at risk of ending up unemployed, experiencing mental health problems and involved in crime.” – Bercow
With the average modern child spending nearly 45 hours a week watching television, it’s no wonder these kids don’t even know their own name.
Image: pattista on Flickr under Creative Commons