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Child cognitive skills impacted by COVID pandemic

"The best way to learn language is by experiencing it, going places, seeing things," said Avivit Ben-Aharon, CEO and Clinical Director of Great Speech in Hollywood.
"The best way to learn language is by experiencing it, going places, seeing things," said Avivit Ben-Aharon, CEO and Clinical Director of Great Speech in Hollywood.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – A large ongoing study of child neurodevelopment finds that children born during the pandemic are showing lower cognitive skills.

Researchers in Rhode Island found that even without being infected by the virus, the environmental changes associated with the pandemic negatively affected infant and child development, including language skills.

“As kids are isolated more they’re not experiencing language the way kids before were able to experience language,” said Avivit Ben-Aharon, CEO and Clinical Director of Great Speech in Hollywood. “The best way to learn language is by experiencing it, going places, seeing things, talking to their families, getting together with other friends. By being isolated, they weren’t doing all that.”

Ben-Aharon said studies have shown that delayed language skills can impact learning throughout life.

Pregnancy depression study

And researchers with the National Institutes of Health have linked depression during pregnancy to changes in placental genes, some affecting brain development.

The researchers conducted a genetic analysis of placentas from pregnant women who participated in a previous study.

They found that a history of depression could impact two genes linked to the brain, possibly affecting the long-term mental development of the child.

Previous studies have found associations between maternal depression in pregnancy and a higher risk of depression in children.


About the Authors:

Veteran journalist Kathleen Corso is the special projects producer for Local 10 News.

Kristi Krueger has built a solid reputation as an award-winning medical reporter and effervescent anchor. She joined Local 10 in August 1993. After many years co-anchoring the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m., Kristi now co-anchors the noon newscasts, giving her more time in the evening with her family.