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Joined: 2010-01-04

A British study claiming that one in six children has trouble learning to talk has drawn criticism for pinning blame for the phenomenon on computer games.

The study, conducted by YouGov and commissioned by the government's newly annointed "communications champion," Jean Gross surveyed 1000 parents about their kids' linguistic development. While most parents reported their children's first words arriving around the age of 10 or 11 months, the study says nearly a quarter of boys, and about 15 per cent of girls, have trouble developing speech.

"This really matters," Gross told [URL=http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/jan/04/parents-busy-children-learn-talk]The Guardian[/URL]. "Our ability to communicate is fundamental and underpins everything else."

True enough, but Gross has come under fire for targeting "screens of all kinds" as the source of this societal ill.

Though The Guardian, and many other major media outlets, happily picked up on this theme — The Guardian piece lead off with the bite that "Children spend so much time in front of the television and computer games, and so little time with adults that one child in six has difficulty learning to talk" — critics have begun to drub media coverage of Gross' conclusions and slammed the study as "unscientific."

[URL=http://www.freelanceunbound.com/]Freelance Unbound[/URL], for example, derides the study as nothing more than a subjective opinion poll. While parents may be best positioned to know when and how often their children speak, they're not in a position to know what's "normal" in child development, the site says.

[URL=http://www.gameculture.com/2010/01/05/critics-challenge-coverage-claiming-games-technology-and-high-mortgages-producing-less-ta]read more[/URL]


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