Does high screen time cause Speech Disorders in kids?

Does your child always love to sit in front of the screen with absolute unawareness about his surroundings? Despite calling out his name like 1000 times, does he not get his eyes off the mobile screen? All these things, if continued ahead, can creep in a kid, a sense of complete social detachment with the world! Perhaps you may be wondering, can prolonged screen times cause speech disorders in the child? Yes, it can! Continue reading to know more!!

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How does High screen time cause speech disorders in kids?

The early years of a child’s life are critical for their language development. Children who spend too much time in front of screens essentially miss out on opportunities to engage with others and learn via observation of their surroundings. Other than the visual and auditory senses, a child’s other senses are not sharpened by more screen time. This may be one of the main causes of speech disorders.

Kids engrossed in the screens in front of them get so much bonded to it that it becomes an addiction for them. This can not only hamper the eyes, but also harm the brain development and can result in speech delay. Thus, sincere efforts must be put in to reduce the screen time for kids and instead involve them in productive activities which will also foster language development!

Causes of Speech disorders due to prolonged screen-times

1. Hampers the attention span:

Kids sitting all the time in front of television , computer screen or playing video games on the mobile screen can eventually not be able to pay attention to other important things around. Their crazy engrossment on screen does not allow them to sincerely pour their attention into things which they actually need to! This can interfere with their expressive abilities and negatively affect language development.

Also, check Autism and Sensory Sensitivity

2. Downfall in receptive language:

Receptive language is indeed the understanding of information provided in a multitude of ways such as sounds and words; movement and gestures; and signs and symbols. With screen as a constant in a kid’s life, it can also mess up with his understanding of words and expressions. Without face to face interaction a child will certainly not be able to sharpen his receptive language and would probably suffer with delay in speech.

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3. Fear of human interactions:

Getting so heavily involved in screen sittings, children will often lose interest in talking to people, understanding their emotions, analysing their expressions and responding correctly in return. If the child won’t mix up or talk to anyone, his vocabulary of words will also be put at stake! And the inability to express will ultimately lead to speech regression.

4. Losing interest in daily chores:

This can also be a cause for speech delay. Unceasingly remaining engaged on the screen, a child develops disliking in performing his routine tasks. Due to this, he/she will not get acquainted with studying, reading books, solving mathematical problems, working upon language and grammar, etc. Thus if a person is trying to explain something to a kid, he may not be able to interpret and respond to it due to lack of understanding and exposure.

Also, check Sensory Processing disorder

42% of kids under 8 own a smartphone, according to Common Sense Media. That’s up from 7 percent just 4 years ago. Isn’t that alarming? Are we not spoiling our upcoming generations with technological advancements? It’s the need of an hour to connect the kids more authentically with the outer world!

TIPS TO REDUCE SCREEN TIME AND IMPROVE SPEECH IN KIDS:

Try to engross the child in activities which will encourage language development in them and enhance their social interaction. To know about some ways to tackle speech delay issues, keep reading!

1. Five New words each day:

Try to talk with the child at your best. Read out story books or poems to him. Try to explain the meaning of words by playing some role or performing some actions. This will make it easier for the child to understand the meaning of words and so also the emotions behind them. Make the child try to learn any 5 words each day and try to use them in some simple sentences. This will boost his language grasping and improve speech delay

2. Adding Limits:

Try to limit the screen time gradually. Reduce it by 5 minutes each day and try to arrive at a good time span for screen watch. This will help the child to also develop interest in performing other activities at his fullest potential. Immediate reduction of screen time can make the child feel frustrated about everything. And thus take one step at a time. 

Also, check Tips to reduce screen time in kids

3. Audio learning:

Within a child’s routine, try incorporating audio learning each day for a span of about an hour. You can let the child listen to any song, poems or talks. After that, ask the child to sing that song or say out the poem or try to explain what he understood from any particular talk in brief. While doing so, he will be pushed to his highest potential to express himself at his best. In this way audio learning can help out with speech delay.

Also, check 8 Fun and Engaging Activities for kids

4. Decoding the drawings:

If a child has liking towards drawing or watching animations on the screen, ask the child to decode the animated video and write it down on a sheet of paper as per his understanding. In this way, a child will try to make a choice of best words for describing any scene within the animation. This will challenge his ability to think in a broader dimension and significantly enhance his grip over language. This will also help him out with his expressive development. 

FOODS THAT HELP WITH SPEECH Disorders:

Apart from all this, Nutrition also plays a primary role in the overall development of a child.  Let’s take a look at times of foods that can help with speech disorders.

Some of the foods that can help with the speech delay include:

1. Nuts:

All the nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashew, peanuts and hazelnuts are rich in vitamin E and help in boosting memory. They are also antioxidants which protect against cell damage. Walnuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and are a valuable substance for brain function, memory and thinking abilities. This fatty acid also encourages cognitive functions and helps out with speech. (Best nuts for protein)

2. Seeds:

Apart from nuts, seeds like flax, chia, melon, sesame and pumpkins also contain powerful antioxidants like vitamin E that protect the brain from free radical damage. Sunflower seeds impact overall mood and mental processing powers and therefore it is considered a brain boosting snack. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium, copper, and much higher in zinc than other seeds, which help in increasing concentration, memory and attention span. One of the easiest to feed brain boosting foods for kids

3. Cocoa Powder:

Pure cocoa powder (unsweetened) contains brain boosting components as it is packed with a large number of antioxidants molecules, the main is epicatechin helpful to improve cognition and speech impairment in studies. Hence cocoa powder is also an important brain development food for children. (More benefits of cocoa powder)

4. Brahmi:

Brahmi is a superfood for the brain and is believed to sharpen the brain by protecting cells and increasing chemicals associated with learning and memory. It has shown to improve spatial learning and retaining power in kids. That is why in older times, kids were often given Brahmi powder with ghee/honey. This would increase their focus and attention while keeping them calm and distressed.

5. Shankhapushpi:

Shankhapushpi is a traditional remedy for increasing the functioning of the brain. The powerful antioxidants and flavonoids present in it improve the memory capacity, focus, concentration, calmness, alertness of an individual. Since it is a brain tonic and stimulator, people taking shankhapushpi have improved memory, reasoning, problem-solving, and other cognitive abilities.

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6. Ashwagandha:

Ashwagandha is an adaptogen. It is known to reduce anxiety and stress. Moreover, it increases acetylcholine levels which support better memory, mental focus and intelligence. Ashwagandha also improves communication between nerve cells and stimulates the body’s capacity to heal any nervous system damage. It also helps in speech improvement.

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