Research shows that many UK children with trouble learning at school or communicating with others have an undiagnosed condition called DLD.
Imagine making a new friend, learning a new subject, or negotiating yourself out of a tough spot if your ability to use or understand language were a life-long challenge.
On average 2 students in every class of 30 in the UK have a neurodevelopmental condition called Developmental Language Disorder or DLD.
Friday 15 of October 2021 is DLD Awareness Day and this year’s campaign is asking UK teachers to #ThinkLanguage #ThinkDLD. The goal is to increase the early identification of DLD and support for students at school.
People in the UK with DLD are 6 times more likely to suffer from anxiety and 3 times more likely to have clinical depression. They are also at significant risk of struggling with reading, spelling and mathematics. Although DLD is a common condition affecting many areas of life, children with DLD are unlikely to receive access to services.
Shelbi, young adult with DLD: “It wasn’t just a “delay” for me and I never “outgrew” or “caught up”. Just like many people; my DLD was never identified nor was my difficulties were further investigated. DLD is a life condition; early identification and support is key to supporting those with DLD to manage everyday life.”
Spoken language is the lifeblood of the classroom. It underpins all learning, relationships and mental health, from the very beginning to the very end of school. Most students thrive in this rich learning environment, but for some, listening and talking can be overwhelming.
Jessica, a 12-year-old student with DLD: “I would like my teachers to know that I may lose focus more easily than others and some tasks may take longer. If I’m ever picked on to speak up in class, I have trouble finding words from my head, so I may stutter a lot or just keep quiet.”
Raising Awareness of Developmental Language Disorder (RADLD) is an international organization working to grow awareness of DLD, a hidden but common condition.
One teacher can change a student’s life by spotting their challenges with language. RADLD is asking teachers to keep an eye out, and whenever they see a student struggling with learning, #ThinkLanguage #ThinkDLD.
Sam, teacher: “If teachers are repeatedly saying things like ‘they just don’t listen’, then perhaps children need a language assessment. I would like teachers to realise that there is a high probability that somebody in their class has DLD and that these students are working REALLY hard to understand everything.”
Students with DLD can succeed at school when they are identified and access the right support. But first they need our help. Please view and share this year’s DLD Awareness Day animated video to help raise awareness:
We have many UK families who are very eager to share their DLD story. Please get in touch and we can arrange a local face for you.
Developmental Language Disorder Awareness Day, now in its fifth year, is celebrated annually around the world with more than 40 countries involved last year. Support DLD Awareness Day by sharing this year’s #ThinkLanguage #ThinkDLD awareness videos (due for release in early October) and/or hold an event at your workplace or in the community. Visit www.RADLD.org to access our awareness raising resources including downloadable posters and fact sheets.