The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has quietly changed their standards for early childhood development, as the effects of pandemic policies on children’s development, from speech to reading to other basics, becomes increasingly more apparent.
Earlier this month, the CDC announced that new checklist ages for its important milestone lists were added. These new ages added were 15 and 30 months.
The update banner at the top of the page points those interested in the updates to the developmental milestones to a Pediatrics article outlining the research conducted that resulted in the change.
One of the authors of this study, Jennifer M. Zubler, said that the changes were made to the guidelines ensure that it reflects milestones that at least 75 percent of children can reach. Since children are no longer able reach these previously attainable milestones, they have been lowered.
The abstract states: “Application of the criteria established by the AAP working group and adding milestones for the 15- and 30-month health supervision visits resulted in a 26.4 percent reduction and 40.9 percent replacement of previous CDC milestones. One third of the retained milestones were transferred to different ages; 67.7 percent of those transferred were moved to older ages.”
Before, the milestone guidelines said that at 24 months, or two years of age, a child should be able to say more than 50 words. This milestone has been pushed back to 30 months.
One Twitter user by the name of Karen Vaites, who has spoken out before regarding masking and how this affects children development in learning and speech, noted that the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, or ASHA, still says that speaking less than 50 words by the age of two is cause for concern.
Vaites previously slammed the CDC for quietly updating its masking guidance to include clear masks as an allowable option for students.
Vaites noted that “masks have become so politicized” that “we are not allowed to talk about the downsides/risks of masking children. Even when they are in plain sight.”
According to Vaites, “Masks impede language development and they also impede the process of kids learning how to read,” including a previous thread of hers published in late July that went over her experience sitting in on a kindergarten classroom while they learned how to read, and the importance of being able to see the teacher’s mouth, and the teacher being able to see the students’ mouths.
“Maybe they didn’t broadcast it because they know that good masks-with-clear-panels options are few & far between,” Vaites said on the CDC’s inclusion of clear masks, including a tweet that said the masks fogged up.
One person noted that the change in guidelines, in addition to moving the goal back, changed to state that more children should be able to reach the milestone, increasing from 50 percent to 75 percent.
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