A therapist from Florida has expressed her worries over facemasks being related to speech delays within young children. Her claims have been backed up by quite alarming statistics.
“This has been a very challenging year,” Theek mentioned at the end of 2021, explaining that before the outbreak, just 5% of her appointments were infants and toddlers, a figure that has subsequently risen to 20%.
According to ABC news affiliate WPBF, Jaclyn Theek, a clinic director and speech-language pathologist at the Speech and Learning Institute in North Palm Beach, stated that she had seen a 364 percent uptick in the total count of referrals for children with speech delays in 2021, implying that mask-wearing may very well be fueling unprecedented harm to healthy childhood development.
“We are seeing a lot of things that look like autism. They’re not making any word attempts. And not communicating at all with their family,” explained Theek.
“It’s very important that kids do see your face to learn, so they’re watching your mouth,” added the pathologist.
Even though Theek is completely right that no peer-reviewed research has discovered a particular dilemma with speech disruptions triggered by pandemic initiatives like masking, a study out of Rhode Island in August 2021 uncovered that kids conceived during the COVID-19 pandemic have substantially reduced perceptual capacity than their pre-pandemic equivalents.