Mandatory mouth cap at school: speech therapists sound the alarm

Monday 7 March is the end of wearing a mask in the playground. But in the classroom, children remain masked. An “obvious” progress but not sufficient for speech therapists to point out the consequences of this obligation for students aged 6 to 10.

This Monday, February 14, the National Collective of Speech Therapists of France sounded the alarm. In a column published in Le Figaro144 professionals dealing with voice, speech and language disorders in children and adults asked the Minister of National Education, Jean-Michel Blanquer, to completely lift the obligation to wear a mask at school.

“The child is a developing being, he is not a miniature adult, he therefore has different and primordial needs. †

And rightly so, they fear significant delays in language acquisition in the youngest. A fear that seems to have been confirmed in speech therapy practices for several months now. Indeed, wearing a mask would affect language learning, reading, but also vision, due to the appearance of fog: “Many children give up their glasses, which exacerbates their vision problems. †

In addition to these problems, there are also the appearance of anxiety disorders, such as a decrease in the desire to go to school or school phobias.

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Excerpts from the column published in Le Figaro

“In our speech-language pathology practices, we notice in our patients a direct consequence of wearing a mask, which is the persistence of open-mouth mouth breathing, which results in a tongue in a low position that interferes with the proper physiological development of their orofacial. consequences, especially for swallowing and for the articulation of the teeth. »

“Wearing a mask also has many harmful effects on both oral and written language learning. Indeed, we see an increased risk of errors in graphophonemic learning. †

“Wearing a mask in children leads to poorer oxygen supply to the brain, leading to possible headaches, difficulty concentrating and impaired intellectual and attention skills. †

“Wearing a mask creates a great loss of opportunity for children with a disorder or disability and this reinforces social inequality. †

A cry for alarm that deserves to be heard.

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