Is Smart Technology Changing Developmental Milestones?
I was most intrigued by a recent study which states that up to 40% of 2-4 year olds and even 10% of babies under age one have used some type of smart phone or tablet already. The news clip included a toddler who could access and move pages on an iPad, but given a magazine the continued using the swipe method of hand movement and was unable to motor plan how to turn the pages. See the video here. The child in this clip is stated to be a one year old so may be a tad young, but as peds therapists we all know that turning pages of a book or magazine are indicative of developmental milestones (roughly by age 2 years turning the pages 2-3 at a time, while by age 3 the toddler should be able to turn pages one at a time) and have long been used on developmental screening tests. Certainly smart phones and tablets are great for building cognitive concepts and as part of universal design for learning, but is the point and swipe going to replace the development of good pincer grasp? What about eye muscle development and/or fatigue from doing such focused vision tasks at such an early age? Do you think Smart Technology is going to change developmental milestones and how we evaluate them? Let me know what you are finding in your assessments!