The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on child growth and development

EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) — From their mental health to social skills and even their grades in school, it’s no secret that the pandemic has taken a toll on our children.

There are programs to help your child focus on personal growth. It’s all about growth, but unfortunately that’s what kids have been missing out on for the past few years.

We went where a pediatric therapy group helps kids get back on track.

Isolation, quarantine, masking, distance learning, less activity, more screen time are just some of the side effects of the pandemic that are affecting the overall development of children.

“Children born after 2019 compared to before 2019 and it was about delays in fine motor skills, gross motor skills and communication, so we’re starting to pay more attention to that,” said Victoria Steed, co-owner of Grow Pediatric Therapy and Group Services.

Social skills, like cooperation and meeting new people in new places.

“That initial shyness, the weariness of other adults or other kids just because they haven’t been around other people,” Steed said.

It also leads to slower speech and language development.

A delayed Honey Pie Therapy is seeing more than ever.

“I’m drowning in two- and three-year-olds right now. I think it has a lot to do with masks, they can’t see reactions, they can’t see how we form sounds, things like that, but also, they don’t get the typical organic experiences like go at the grocery store or sit in a restaurant,” said Kelly Hennings, speech pathologist at Honey Pie Therapy.

These experiences and interactions are necessary to mature.

“Just to talk to your kids as much as possible because you’re mostly their only source of language acquisition,” she said.

Christy Clutter, co-owner of Grow Pediatric Therapy and Group Services, said, “Not having that experience can be like a whole new world when they come here.”

Planting the seed for growth development opportunities.

“Just play, have fun, laugh and spend time together as much as possible,” she said.

Steed said: “The most important thing to know is that delays are not eternal delays. It is also up to you, as parents, to get involved.

For more information and step charts, visit Honey Pie Therapy.

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Sara H. Byrd