Lack of Socialization Could Impact Child Development

With school out for the summer, and social distancing the new norm, the lack of socialization for children could impact them later on.

Social interaction is critical to a child’s development and the skills they learn and develop will follow them through the rest of their life. Whether this time of social separation will have a lasting impact on their development, will likely depend on how long social distancing lasts. This is new territory for all of us, and the effects it will have on children remain to be seen.

What we do know, is that we still have options to help our children socialize, even while confined to their homes. While many in-person interactions are currently out of the question, we still have ways through which we can connect with others.

This is where technology becomes important. If you have been following me for a while, you know that I am fairly outspoken about reducing the amount of time children spend in front of screens. My opinion on that has not changed. Spending too much time browsing social media and even educational apps, has been shown, by research, to be harmful to a child’s development.

However, this does not apply when your phone or tablet is used for meaningful communication. Platforms such as Zoom, Facetime, and Skype and others are perfectly acceptable, especially during this time of social distance.

Although many special needs children struggle in social situations, peer and family support can make for a more positive experience even as we socially distance.

Having a conversation and interacting with someone via the internet has been shown to work particularly well with children on the autism spectrum. I conduct online therapy through zoom and am having good results with many of the special needs children whom I work with.

Therefore, if you are looking for a way to provide some social interaction for your child, get them off of social media and video games, and instead, connect them with a friend or family member through Zoom, Facetime, Google Hangouts, Discord or simply pick up the phone and make an old fashioned phone call!

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Jason Miller