CDC research warns that dyslexia and speech impairments impact approximately one out of every ten children: The face mask effect.


Covid restrictions have hampered children's development, several studies have shown.  This includes hitting major milestones, recognizing faces, and standing up straight

The proportion of American children diagnosed with a developmental or learning disability has surged since the Covid lockdown, an official report warns.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that conditions such as dyslexia, autism, cerebral palsy, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are on the rise.

From 2019 to 2021, the number of children aged three to 17 with a developmental disability increased from 7.4 percent to 8.5 percent. That is an increase of 17 percent.

And boys were twice as likely to have one than girls, with one in 10 diagnosed. Boys also had more intellectual disabilities than girls, with 2.3 percent diagnosed compared to 1.4 percent.

The findings build on previous research linking school closures, mask mandates and online learning to major declines in academic achievement and development.

Covid restrictions have hampered children’s development, several studies have shown. This includes hitting major milestones, recognizing faces, and standing up straight

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that developmental and intellectual disabilities increased in children during the pandemic

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that developmental and intellectual disabilities increased in children during the pandemic

“We are interested in understanding the prevalence of these conditions in the population so that we can ensure that we have adequate services available to families and children who need them,” said Benamin Zablotsky, statistician for the National Center for Health Statistics. from the CDC and lead author of the report.

The results were part of the agency’s ongoing National Health Interview Survey, which collects national data through face-to-face interviews with 30,000 adults and 9,000 children.

The results also show that about three percent of children have autism, a figure that fell slightly during the pandemic.

While 2.6 percent were diagnosed between three and seven years old, about 3.4 percent were diagnosed between eight and seventeen years old.

Boys were three times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls. Only 1.5 percent of girls had it, while 4.7 percent of boys had been diagnosed.

Research indicates that these conditions are more common than girls because girls have a “female protective model.”

A study in the journal AJHG suggests that women need more extreme genetic mutations than men to push them over the neurodevelopmental disability threshold.

The new CDC figures show boys are more likely than girls to have a developmental disability, and younger children are more likely to be diagnosed

The new CDC figures show boys are more likely than girls to have a developmental disability, and younger children are more likely to be diagnosed

Boys were also more likely to develop an intellectual disability.  However, unlike developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities were more commonly diagnosed in older children

Boys were also more likely to develop an intellectual disability. However, unlike developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities were more commonly diagnosed in older children

The CDC’s finding that developmental problems are on the rise comes amid a slew of evidence that Covid restrictions stunted children’s growth.

A study by researchers at the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland looked at 309 babies born between March and May 2020.

Parents were surveyed about 10 developmental milestones after their child turned one year old.

These include: saying one specific word, pointing the finger, waving hello, being able to stand, step aside, crawl and stack stones.

The results were compared to 2,000 babies born between 2008 and 2011.

Lockdown babies were 14 percent less likely to say one particular word, the results showed.

They were also nine percent less likely to start pointing, and six percent less likely to wave hello.

On the other hand, however, they were also significantly more likely to crawl – seven percent.

The researchers said: ‘Lockdown measures may have reduced the repertoire of language heard and the sight of unmasked faces speaking to them [infants].

“It may also have limited the opportunities to encounter new items of interest, which could lead to pointing, and the frequency of socializing to allow them to learn to wave goodbye.”

The graph above shows the likelihood of a certain behavior in pandemic babies compared to non-pandemic babies on their first birthday.  Pincer refers to using the thumb and index finger together.  Pandemic babies crawl more often, but talk, point or wave less often

The graph above shows the likelihood of a certain behavior in pandemic babies compared to non-pandemic babies on their first birthday. Pincer refers to using the thumb and index finger together. Pandemic babies crawl more often, but talk, point or wave less often

In addition, there is an article that was published in the journal last January JAMA that looked at 225 children born in 2020 revealed that within six months, babies are less likely to be crawling and smiling at themselves in a mirror. It also showed that they had reduced social and problem-solving skills.

Likewise, brown university scientists, who assessed 1,000 children, found that there was a 23 percent drop in “pandemic” babies’ scores in three cognitive tests: early learning, verbal development, and nonverbal development.

Even motor skills like balance suffered. An investigation published last year found that school closures damaged children’s ability to walk and stand upright because they had fewer opportunities to be physically active, weakening leg muscles.

The findings come as more and more adults are diagnosed with these conditions well beyond childhood.

For example, actor Rob McElhenney made headlines this week when he announced that he was diagnosed with “neurodevelopmental and learning disabilities” at age 46.

“It’s not something I would normally talk about publicly but thought there are others out there struggling with similar things and just wanted to remind you that you’re not alone,” he tweeted.

‘You’re not stupid. You are not “bad”. It can feel that way sometimes. But it’s not true.’