A headmaster in canton Thurgau is highlighting a growing problem – children are taking longer to learn to speak.
He told the press that It’s becoming more common that children can’t speak properly when they start kindergarten.
There’s evidence to back up his observations.
While there are no official figures on speech disorders, speech therapists say they’re busier than ever with children on waiting lists to get help and health insurers say spending on speech therapy is up 60% in ten years.
Therapists say they believe they know why – increased screen time for the very young. One therapist, Jonas Walde, says he knows a three-year-old with her own smartphone and a recent conversation with parents when they admitted they didn’t know how often their child was on screens as they’re both working full time.
Teachers say it highlights how important it is for parents to talk to their children and read picture books with them – that’s how they learn to talk, they say.