The One thing I wished I knew when I started using Technology with my Kids
Do you ever find yourself leaning on technology to keep your kids entertained? Even to stifle a tantrum, a "mood," or even to get a minute alone? I know I have..
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Working with parents of speech delayed toddlers I've learned that these kids tend to have more behavior issues and seem more difficult to manage/understand compared to their peers. Understanding what technology does to a child's brain during language development is important and crucial for us as parents to make the best decisions for our children.
 
The American Pediatrics Association recommends little to no technology before the age of 2. They have recently changed this due to technology access for our littles, though. For example, they support video chatting with relatives or friends and other actions like this. Let’s take a look as to why the research says to limit technology use.


  • “Children younger than 2 years need hands-on exploration and social interaction with trusted caregivers to develop their cognitive, language, motor, and social-emotional skills. Because of their immature symbolic, memory, and attentional skills, infants and toddlers cannot learn from traditional digital media as they do from interactions with caregivers, and they have difficulty transferring that knowledge to their 3-dimensional experience. The chief factor that facilitates toddlers’ learning from commercial media (starting around 15 months of age) is parents watching with them and reteaching the content.”
The one thing that stands out the most to me as a speech therapist is that parents play a crucial role in facilitating language learning and development. Ipad apps are great for teaching receptive content, like shapes, colors, sight words, letters, numbers, and even some vocabulary. The social aspect of language is where technology is lacking. Technology is not able to teach your child HOW to use the words your child learns, or how to use/understand these academic skills in a real life situation. That is why you are a crucial part in supporting your child’s language skills during play and everyday routines. 

This is what I wished I had known when I started practicing as an SLP and even as a new mom. Technology can be a great tool and I use it everyday, like you, but this kind of knowledge helps me to be a better clinician and to make better decisions as a parent for my kids. 

Need more tips on HOW to use technology at home with your child? Join my Free FB group where I support Moms just like you with speech delayed toddlers.

Here's the link to the APA article I referenced in this Blog.

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