More COVID Lockdown Casualties - Youngest Children 'Academically and Developmentally' Behind

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File

The further removed from the COVID-19 pandemic Americans become, the more information is revealed about just how harmful government-mandated lockdowns of schools were. Slides in math scores among kids from third through eighth grade of more than half a grade have been documented, but the youngest victims of left-wing COVID mandates are turning out to be the youngest children, those who were babies and toddlers, not yet school-age, who are not just academically, but also developmentally behind, says a new report from, ironically, the "New York Times," which advocated for the lockdowns. 


A group of teachers, pediatricians, and early childhood experts say the lockdowns may have caused serious damage to the youngest students, who are not just learning academics but also social and practical skills during their first years in school. The group cited what could possibly be "a generation less likely to have age-appropriate skills." Emotional skills like communicating their needs, solving problems with their peers, or just managing their emotions. Even things like identifying shapes and letters and holding a pencil are a struggle for these younger students. The effect of lockdowns seems also to impact boys more than girls. 

Dr. Jaime Peterson is a pediatrician who researches kindergarten readiness at Oregon Health and Science University. She says, “We asked them to wear masks, not see adults, not play with kids. We really severed those interactions, and you don’t get that time back for kids.” The group of experts added that the damage done to younger students is significant because the early school years are the most crucial for brain development. That development has been impaired by things like parental stress, less exposure to other people, less pre-school attendance, and the pandemic effects of exposure to more computer screen time.


Joel Ryan works with networks of Head Start and state preschools in Washington state and says bluntly that America's education system is headed for a "pandemic tsunami" and says he has seen a definite increase in speech delays and behavioral problems. The issues with younger kids that preschool and kindergarten teachers are seeing are alarming. One preschool teacher said, “I had some kids who went on to kindergarten who still did not know a triangle.” Another said, “They don’t have the muscle strength because everything they are doing at home is screen time. They are just swiping.” The situation does not seem to get better as kids go from preschool to kindergarten. One kindergarten teacher stated, “I have more kids in kindergarten who have never been in school.” Another stated a sad fact, saying, “They’re coming in and they don’t know how to play.” Yet another said that she had to replace small building materials with bigger soft blocks because her students had not developed their fine motor skills enough to manipulate them. 


The results of the lockdowns go further. Younger children are either more withdrawn or acting out in school. The same pre-kindergarten teacher who replaced the blocks in her classroom added that she did not see her students "engaging in the imaginative play or seeking out other children in the way they used to." Incidents of acting out include knocking over chairs, throwing things, and hitting their classmates and even their teachers. The group all said they are seeing core strength, social skills, attention, and even visual problems as a result of the lost time in school. 

Do educators think that this generation of kids will catch up post-pandemic? One preschool teacher says that while she is seeing all the things that lockdowns caused, she is also seeing great progress. By the end of the 2023-24 school year, some of her students were counting to 100 and also adding and subtracting. She stated, “If the kids come to school, they do learn.”

It may be that the resilience of America's youngest students and their eagerness to learn will outweigh any damage done by "health experts" and their eagerness to lock America down. Simply put, America's Kids 1, Dr. Fauci 0.



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