Video games have been blamed for helping create speech problems amongst toddlers – ahead of a possible nationwide screening programme of the problem.
Two-year-olds will reportedly be screened to tackle the problem which experts say is now more prevalent than dyslexia or autism.
According to the Telegraph:
‘Toddlers could be screened for speech problems after evidence that many are so addicted to television and video games that they are failing to learn basic communication skills.'
The decline of the traditional family meal time, the long-hours culture in the parents' workplaces, poor childcare with little stimulation and social deprivation are also being blamed.
The screening programme is being considered after a review into services for children with speech problems led by Tory MP John Bercow.
Tests could be carried out by health visitors in a similar way to that in which they check eyesight, hearing and general development.
"If children are in a home in which they are getting insufficient stimulation, where there is not enough interaction, or where communication through the spoken word is not as common or extensive or imaginative as it might be, that is bound to have an impact," Mr Bercow told the Daily Mail.
"The reality is that for far too long, speech and language problems have been under-recognised."
According to The Mail, fewer than one in ten children in disadvantaged areas know even one nursery rhyme.
In the most disturbing cases, children are not aware they have a name, let alone know what it is.