Survey of Parents shows Tots Using Technology:Speech-Hearing Dev - KOAM TV 7

Survey of Parents shows Tots Using Technology:Speech-Hearing Development a Concern

Joplin, MO -  Modern technology has become a great teaching tool for visual learners, unlocking education for many on the autism spectrum.

    But some could be using it, too much too soon. Concerns are  grabbing attention during better speech and hearing month.

A three year old pre-schooler in Joplin does a letter recognition exercise on an iPad. They're part of classrooms but kids even younger are regularly embracing technology.

"We're talking birth to 8 years old," says Lyn Murdock,  a Joplin schools speech language pathologist.

She says one thousand parents were surveyed about technology use.

"It shows that three quarters of our young kids birth to two  are already exposed to iPads."

The new survey by ASHA, the American Speech Language  Hearing Association shows: 68% reported two-year olds using tablets; 59% reported their two-year olds using smart phones; 24% using  at the dinner table and  44% said they use video game consoles.

Murdock says, "We find a lot of kids have social language issues that have been very involved in technology even before they even get to school. It's hard for them to be in a  real life environmental  situation without having the technology there."

Ear, Nose and Throat surgeon Dr. Nathan Box says it can be problematic when, "learning to communicate with other people because all they're doing is listening  to the device. We also wonder if the device is going to be too loud and whether they're being exposed chronically to loud noise exposure  which can effect hearing."

Murdock advises with technology, "a balanced diet if you may.  We do not  want to use technology to pacify or to replace  good basic language development , the human contact, reading to your  kids, playing in a language  enriched setting."

Joplin pre-school kids get to use a smart board everyday but there's also  hands on play that makes  an important  difference here.

Murdock says, "Those spontaneous situations in classrooms and at home create teachable moments that technology cannot. And its invaluable for pragmatic or social language development."

And as preschoolers know it's fun while learning.

Murdock says parents can get advice on good apps that benefit children's development and guidance on what is quality time on technology devices at the ASHA website.

Click here for a link

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