New research on the impact of the pandemic on children and young people’s speech, language and communication development

Date: 13th February 2023
Category: Right to life, survival and development, COVID-19

2 metres apart, social distancing sign

Public Health Scotland has published new research on the impact of public health measures and society restrictions during the pandemic on speech, language and communication (SLC) development of children and young people. The data reveals an increasing rise in SLC developmental concerns and the need for support in Scotland.

Examining available data, the report reveals how COVID-19 social restrictions have had a negative impact on early childhood development particularly in SLC development. According to the report, due to the long social restrictions introduced to protect against COVID-19, many children missed out on child health reviews and checks at the important stage of their early development. The report suggests some children may have missed detection of early SLC. This has increased concern over possible under-identification of SLC difficulties and deficits in social communication over time.

The report concludes with recommendations to deal with these concerns including the Scottish Government creating an Action Plan. According to the report, SLC development should be considered a “public health issue” and recommends a “whole system approach” when it comes to detecting and treating children and young people’s speech, language and communication development. Childhood development is important to children and young people living to their fullest potential and receiving equal opportunities.