By – Ian Gargan
Over the last two years, the CDC has made some pretty ridiculous rules and rule changes. We went from wearing two masks (because wearing one was ineffective) to sanitizing our boxes of Ding Dongs when we brought them home from the supermarket. While the CDC continues to change the guidelines on vaccinations and masks, they’re now also meddling in the “reformulation” of important childhood milestones that parents have long looked to for guidance in raising their kids.
It’s safe to say that most parents look forward to the first time their child crawls; it’s an essential milestone. Crawling tells a parent two things: this kid is about to get into everything in your house, and they are on their way to becoming a walker! But starting this month, the CDC will no longer consider crawling a milestone. Great personal Facebook brags, but no longer important in the development of a child. First, they sit up and then – Boom! – they are walking. Right? Wrong. Can you show us your work CDC? What logic went into this decision?
The most notable change to the established child development standards is in the 30-month milestone checklist. On the CDC webpage under the Language/Communication milestone, it states that a child should know “about 50 words” at 30 months. So, 40 words? 35? Whatever. “About” 50 words is the goal.
However, being able to use 50 words at 30 months only puts a child in the bottom 5% of the child development ranking. According to the previous standard, by 30 months old, a child should be around the 150-to-200-word range just to be considered average. The previous standard of knowing 50 words at 24 months was still evidence of a child thriving. But by giving a child more time to reach a lesser standard, you are effectively reducing the time the parent has to react to a very solvable problem.
The change to developmental standards was made based on a recent study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which showed that for years now less and less children were reaching the early childhood goals set in place. Imagine all children are lined up in order first to last to reach a milestone. Previously, children in the first half of the line were fine and the last half needed support. Now we’ve slid the bar to make it appear that only the last 25% appear to need help. What will happen to this group of kids who are now newly included in the group of kids who are not struggling enough to need services? Instead of acknowledging that as a result of Covid policies in schools, our children have been in a classroom setting that is not conducive to proper development, they’ve decided to just lower the standards in an attempt to sugarcoat the damage that has been done.
Another issue that will arise from this lowering of standards is the increased difficulty in getting a struggling child the proper help with speech or other special education services through their school districts. Manipulating the numbers does not change the fact that some children have just not met any acceptable developmental standard. Making the standard easier to obtain not only hurts the child but now puts parents in a position to have to fight to get services for children who are not deemed far enough behind to qualify for help. Clearly, the CDC is going with the ‘let’s wait and see’ approach to childhood development.
These changes are an obvious effort to cover for the horrific excuse for an education system that has emerged over the last two years. Our children should be honing their verbal and social skills but instead must focus on remaining six feet apart, masked, and deloused. This new guidance from the CDC has added just another hurdle to parenting and done a great disservice to our nation’s children. The purpose of these milestones has always been for early identification of verbal or social developmental issues and the correction thereof. The lowered milestone guidelines will now make both of those things more difficult for parents.