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Is Technology Impeding My Child’s Social Skills?

With the continuous increase in the use of technology throughout our everyday lives, the trend has trickled down to young children as well. iPads, tablets, cell phones, social media, and video games have become staples in every home for both parents, teenagers, and younger children alike. But could this massive use of technology be causing harm to our children’s social skills?

Effects of Technology

Current research has shown that the use of technology in young children and teenagers releases dopamine, a chemical in the brain, which is similar to the release of dopamine that is seen with the addiction of alcohol or drugs. Children and teenagers are also more susceptible to this release, so parents can’t understand why their children are so fascinated with technology because the brain is responding differently at different ages. But most importantly, the use of technology and this “addiction” has slowly stopped face to face interactions between people, and has a negative impact on children’s social skill development.

Social Skills and Technology

With the focus of social skills, children may not be learning how to initiate conversations, listen and respond to topics, deal with conflicts, and know how to respond to pauses or changes in conversation. Instead, children can use technology to avoid most of those things. It is important that children learn and use social skills for many reasons.

Good social skills help to:

1.     Develop positive relationships with parents, teachers, peers
2.     Avoid social rejections
3.     Show resilience during times of stress

Poor social skills can lead to:

1.     Depression
2.     Anxiety
3.     Social exclusion
4.     Poor academic performance

What Can We Do?

As parents, we can encourage social skill development by limiting screen time and practicing those skills with our children. As parents, we may need to limit our screen time as well in order to encourage social interactions within the family.
The important factor in determining how much screen time is too much is individualized by the child and the family. Parents should consider when screen time is healthy and when it becomes unhealthy (because not all screen time is terrible), and if their child can have self-control over technology and understand when technology needs to be turned off. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has recommended that parents create “screen free” zones in their homes including children’s bedrooms and at dinner time. Entertainment media should be limited to around 2 hours a day and children should be encouraged to spend time reading, playing outside, playing board games, and using imagination in free play time. Parents should actively participate in this non-media time with their children to encourage social skills and to also model “screen free” time for their children. The AAP also suggests that all children under the age of 2 have no television or media as the brain is rapidly developing and social interaction is key to part of brain development.
While these recommendations are highly valued, parents should consider their child individually and as their child gets older, parent will need to address their expectations with their child in an open conversation.


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Patient Reviews

LLA Therapy

Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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