Childrens' language development impacted
Research in the UK has found Covid lockdowns have had a negative impact on children's speech and language development.
In England alone the number of five and six year olds who need speech and language support at school has risen by 10% in the space of a year.
Manx Care's Speech and Language Therapy team says it 'recognises, post Covid lockdowns, some young children's language has been negatively affected. The reported trend in the UK will be mirrored here on the Island.'
'The Speech and Language Therapy team assess children who require a referral to the team due to the severity of their Speech, Language and Communication Needs.'
It adds: 'These children would have been likely to have needed this specialist support regardless of the lockdown, and they represent a small percentage of the total children on the Island.'
Ealish Greggor runs Greggor Speech and Language Therapy. She told Manx Radio she's seen a huge rise in referrals since Covid in all age groups - particularly children of primary school age:
MHK Daphne Caine has long had concerns regarding speech and language provision - and, as a member of the Social Affairs Policy Review Committee, raised a number of questions to the education minister.
Speaking in a personal capacity, not as a committee member, she shared her thoughts and some figures for the Island: