Masks Slowing Speech and Social Skills in Young Children: Experts | Kolkata News

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Kolkata: The use of masks delays the development of speech and social skills in young children, experts have warned. With kindergartens and preschool sections welcoming toddlers, the city’s speech pathologists and behavior counselors have seen a sudden increase in the number of parents seeking advice for their children. Pediatricians, who advise parents not to mask their children, want to raise awareness among kindergartens so that they discourage the wearing of masks in class.
“Kids in kindergarten are finding it increasingly difficult to learn and pronounce words and I would attribute this to children wearing masks,” said speech therapist and audiologist Santanu Mukherjee. There is an essential visual aspect in learning language and vocabulary, he explained. “When children cannot see the way words are formed in the mouth, for example the placement of the tongue, they will continue to make mistakes in their speech,” Mukherjee said, adding that if kindergartens continue to mandate the wearing of masks, basic learning among children could be delayed for months.
Pediatric intensivist Sat-arupa Mukherjee says one of the main reasons for discouraging children’s use of masks “is their inability to keep up with mask hygiene and carbon reproduction in the body,” which can make them sick. “Apart from that, I also notice that a number of young children have trouble recognizing facial expressions. They seem confused to express themselves with facial cues and have a blank expression. My six-year-old daughter, who wears a mask in class, has developed a bit of social anxiety and is reluctant to speak as she struggles to pick up on social cues as she cannot see the faces of her teachers and peers,” she said. declared.
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