Neurologist warns of consequences of virtual learning as parents prepare for school year

Consequences of virtual learning

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - When both parents were unemployed during the spring, virtual learning with two kids under 5 didn’t seem that bad at the Walsh household.

“To me, it looks like my kids were living your best life. They were outside playing with each other all day, quite honestly having a ball,” said Christina Walsh.

But now with the transition back to school, full-time working mother and business owner, Christina Walsh, says the panic started settling in. Her kindergartner’s class was going to be 100% virtual.

“My heart is hurting for her to miss that first day of kindergarten and that class experience, adults know connecting over Zoom isn’t the same and I really wish for them that she could have that in-person experience,” she said.

Simply put, neurologist and parent, Dr. Chad Domangue, says children need to go back to the classroom to fully foster a developing brain.

“We remember 2nd grade, we remember 3rd grade, and the idea you can just take away those grades away and it’s no big deal is mind boggling to me and that correlates with me as a physician because the human brain doesn’t stop developing synapses of neurons until your early mid-20s,” said Dr. Domangue.

Dr. Domangue fears keeping children out of the physical classroom could have greater ramifications on their mental health as they grow into adults.

“As this generation of children being introduced to this level of fear at such a young age, anxiety, depression is going to be astronomical when they become adults. To me it’s creating this perfect storm on a population of humans that doesn’t have a vote and doesn’t have a voice,” said Dr. Domangue.

“At this point in time, we have to put our trust in the people making decisions on our behalf and I don’t envy what their faced with right now,” said Walsh.

Walsh says she would like nothing more than to send her child back to class to learn and play with her friends, but she says in their reality now, they have to make peace with the current schedule.

“They sense our anxieties and if we can keep ourselves centered and grounded in gratitude and focus on one day at a time, they will be able to do that too,” she said.

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