May 8, 2023
(Rockville, MD) The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the Screen Time Action Network at Fairplay today announced the latest resource in their collaborative series that cuts through the clutter of screen time advice for parents and caregivers: Be Tech Wise With Preschoolers!
Specifically designed for families with children ages 3 to 5 years, Be Tech Wise With Preschoolers! covers ways that families can support their child’s budding communication, social–emotional, and learning skills—as well as tips for achieving healthy screen time habits—at a unique and critical point in child development.
“Between 3 and 5 years of age, children are rapidly developing their speech, language, pre-reading and writing, and social skills—all of which prepare them for kindergarten and lay the foundation for long-term school success,” said 2023 ASHA President Robert Augustine, PhD, CCC-SLP. “Activities such as talking, singing, playing, and reading books together with loving adults all boost these skills. Your child’s discovery of the world with you through the power of words will positively impact their development far beyond any screen time experience.”
According to Mark Bertin, MD, a board-certified developmental pediatrician, professor, and author who contributed to the Preschoolers resource: “Studies have shown that young children of all ages are getting much more screen time, on average, than is recommended by experts at the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization.
“One troubling factor regarding the preschool years is that families are inundated with advertisements for apps, online learning programs, and other products that claim to help children learn to read, improve their vocabularies, and build their math skills,” Dr. Bertin explained. “Parents and caregivers may feel their child will fall behind if they don’t purchase these products, which is completely false. A key goal of our new resource is to advise families that there are free and easy ways to build the skills that prepare children for school.”
Be Tech Wise With Preschoolers! is the third installment in a series offering screen time guidance from ASHA and Fairplay. The first two are Be Tech Wise With Baby! and Be Tech Wise With Toddler! The full series is free and available in English and Spanish.
The Be Tech Wise series is easily printable and ready to use as a set of waiting room materials or takeaways in pediatrician, speech-language pathologist, and other professional offices; preschools and daycare centers; and libraries and other locations. It also is well-suited to supplement information provided at early intervention or private therapy evaluations or appointments.
ASHA and Fairplay welcome all interested parties to print and use Be Tech Wise With Preschoolers!
Families who are concerned about their child’s communication skills can visit http://IdentifytheSigns.org to learn more or contact their local school system to request an evaluation of their child. More screen time guidance is available at https://screentimenetwork.org/.
About the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)
ASHA is the national professional, scientific, and credentialing association for 228,000 members and affiliates who are audiologists; speech-language pathologists; speech, language, and hearing scientists; audiology and speech-language pathology support personnel; and students. Audiologists specialize in preventing and assessing hearing and balance disorders as well as providing audiologic treatment, including hearing aids. Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) identify, assess, and treat speech, language, and swallowing disorders.
About the Screen Time Action Network at Fairplay
The Screen Time Action Network at Fairplay is a coalition of practitioners, educators, advocates, and parents working to promote a healthy childhood by reducing the amount of time kids spend with digital devices. www.screentimenetwork.org/