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Byron Shire
October 22, 2021

Lismore lights up purple for DLD Awareness Day

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If you see something unusually purple next week in Lismore it’s not your eyes playing tricks – Lismore City Hall will light up purple on October 15 to celebrate Developmental
Language Disorder (DLD) Awareness Day.

Research shows that many children with trouble learning at school or communicating with others have an undiagnosed condition called DLD. On average two students in every class of 30 have DLD.

Friday 15 of October 2021 is DLD Awareness Day and now in its fifth year, it is celebrated annually around the world with more than 40 countries involved last year.

This year’s campaign is asking teachers to #ThinkLanguage #ThinkDLD. The goal is to increase the early identification of DLD and support for students at school.

People with DLD more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression

People with DLD are six times more likely to suffer from anxiety and three 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, a young adult with DLD, says everything for her was delayed. ‘I never “outgrew” or “caught up”. Just like many people my DLD was never identified nor were 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.

Loss of focus and tasks take longer

Jessica, a 12-year-old student with DLD said she would like her teachers to know that she 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.

If teachers are repeatedly saying things like: ‘they just don’t listen’ then perhaps children need a language assessment. 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 help.

Teachers can download a FREE Teacher’s Kit in celebration of DLD Awareness Day at: www.radld.org.

This year, the world is lighting up purple and yellow to boost awareness of DLD globally. RADLD says that more than 80 landmarks are scheduled to shine bright on or around Friday 15 October 2021.




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