TV damages infant speech

30th June 2006 at 01:00
Top marks to headteacher Duncan Harper for his bold challenge to the televisual culture that is compromising so many young children's healthy development ("Autistic? Or just addicted to TV?", TES, June 16).

A raft of media reports and learned studies (not least, Dr Aric Sigman's disturbing book Remotely Controlled) is highlighting the compelling evidence of televisual culture's negative effects - for example, that TV is hampering the speech development of a growing number of pre-school-age children.

It's no coincidence that in 2003, the then chief inspector of schools, David Bell, admitted publicly that the verbal and behavioural skills of five-year-olds are demonstrably suffering.

One recent survey discovered that seven in 10 children have their own television and six in 10 a games console.

Televisual culture is a major public (ill-)health issue as well as a growing fetter upon children's successful education. We need to conduct major government-sponsored research into the the pervasive "screen culture"

of schools, and modern culture.

Dr Richard House 50 Edinburgh Road Norwich, Norfolk

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