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Lowered Standards in Child Development

Did you all hear about development guidelines for our children being revised downward? Check this out…

For the first time in 20 years, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have revised developmental milestones for children.

We know that children have difficultly communicating while masked, and difficultly learning from others who are masked. We also know many children have been relatively isolated over the last couple of years. The CDC and AAP, however, claim these aren’t the reasons why the guidelines were changed.

But is that entirely true? Let’s look at what they did:

These recent revisions include a significant number of delayed milestones, plus the removal of many milestones altogether. In total, 216 developmental milestones have been slashed to 159. Crawling, for example, has been totally removed as a milestone. Crawling!

Of the 159 remaining milestones, approximately one-third of those have been delayed to older ages. Some of these are in major categories like motor skills and language development. For example, the previous guidance from the CDC used to be that most children should know 50 words at age 24 months. Now, 50 words has been pushed back to 30 months, a six-month setback.

Don’t let anyone pull the wool over your eyes. Responses to Covid, like masking, distancing from others, and remote learning will have effects on children for years (if not decades) to come.

I understand children grow and develop at different stages and in their own time, and developmental guidance from the CDC and AAP are just that – guidance. However, this should be the time that we pay extra attention to helping children achieve these milestones rather than just lowering our expectations. How irresponsible.

We cannot expect our country to be competitive in the world in 10, 20, 30 years and beyond when three-year-olds in China are learning to code while three-year-olds in the U.S. are barely expected to have 50 words in their vocabulary! It’s teetering on neglect.

The last point I’ll make is this: if a child is developing slower for reasons such as a disability, it may go undetected or untreated longer because of the limiting and lackadaisical approach to development. The first five years are the most important to a child’s development. It’s not fair to dumb down these standards!