Home Advocacy How Is Technology Use Affecting Children’s Communication Skills?

How Is Technology Use Affecting Children’s Communication Skills?

by Shelley D. Hutchins
Young girl watching TV on a smartphone. Okayama, Japan. February 2017

Technology’s effect on the communication and social skills of children pops up in the news a lot lately.

This time, philly.com tackled the topic. Kids Health assistant editor, Anna Nguyen, interviewed Lisa Rai Mabry-Price, associate director of school services at ASHA, to gain insights into how technology overuse could jeopardize communication and social skills.

As always, children who use low- and high-tech augmentative and alternative communication devices (AAC) should continue to use them at all times—and in an interactive way.

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Mabry-Price discussed the many ways texting, tweeting, snap-chatting and other nonverbal methods of communication can potentially cause issues with in-person interactions.

“Speech and language development is dependent upon verbal interaction through talking, singing, reading, and playing through basic everyday interactions,” she says in the article, adding: “It’s an area where we are just starting to see research, but it goes back to how we know that speech and language skills develop — and that’s through human interaction.”

Other questions that Mabry-Price answers in the interview offer details on what professional organizations recommend for screen time limits according to a child’s age. She also shares signs indicating technology overuse might be interfering with a child’s communication skills.

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