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Impact of coronavirus on speech and language development

Services such as Devon’s Public Health Nursing, which includes health visitors and school nurses, were quick to respond to the national coronavirus lockdown in March 2020, using online and remote ways to continue their work with parents and children. 

Alongside partners in education and children’s centres, health visitors and school nurses have continued to provide support for those most at need throughout the pandemic.

“Children’s lives have been turned upside down by COVID-19,” says Sarah Miller, Speech and Language Advisor.

“The disruption to services, changes to education provision and the additional pressures within families have meant that some children will be struggling to achieve their potential despite huge effort and tireless work of schools and services across the county.”

One of the reasons why children may struggle finding their way in life is because they have difficulty communicating. So, the impact of COVID-19 on children’s language development in particular is the focus of much local and national interest.

Sarah and her team have been working hard during the last year to raise awareness among parents and carers and professionals to help them understand the importance of speech and language, and how it’s everyone’s role to support children to be able to communicate as effectively as possible.

Their work has been to improve communication services and support for children and young people up the age of 25 years old. They’ve helped develop a lot of resources and support networks.

“We are very excited at how this work is going. We want to celebrate this and encourage more people to get involved” says Sarah.

You can read more about the team’s work on Devon County Council’s News Centre.