Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Service in Leeds to support Global Developmental Language Disorder day this week

The Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Service in Leeds is supporting the Global Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) awareness day this week.

Monday, 11th October 2021, 4:45 pm

Development Language Disorder is often described as a hidden disability and a large proportion of the general public have not heard of DLD despite the fact that it is a very common condition, the service said.

Approximately two children in every class have DLD, population statistics show. It affects a child’s understanding of language and spoken language skills which can then impact on the child’s learning, reading and writing, forming and maintaining friendships and emotional well-being.

Later in life it can affect a young person’s or adult’s mental health and employability.

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Leeds Town Hall lit up in purple in support of the day in 2020 Pic: JPIMedia

The Leeds Community Healthcare (LCH), Children’s Speech and Language Therapy Service is supporting the Global Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) awareness day on Friday October 15.

Locations across the world will be lighting up famous landmarks in purple and yellow to help promote awareness of DLD.

This year’s campaign is asking teachers to #Think Language#Think DLD.

Statistics show that 7% of the population in Leeds (54,600 people) will have the hidden but common disability Developmental Language Disorder (DLD).

The SLT team working for Leeds Community Healthcare said: “Hardly anyone has heard of Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) despite it being really common, there are approximately 2 children in every classroom with DLD.

"DLD can affect a child’s understanding of spoken language and spoken language skills.

"We need good speech, language and communication skills in order to achieve academically and socially.

"Learning to read for meaning and writing stories relies on good language skills which are the primary problem for children with DLD.

"Imagine trying to resolve an argument or disagreement if your ability to use or understand language were a lifelong challenge.

"It’s really important that children receive the right support at the right time to help them achieve their true potential.

"The Leeds SLT team work closely with parents and school staff to ensure that everyone has a good understanding of the child or young person’s needs and can help to develop their communication skills and participation in everyday activities.”

Kate College, a parent of a young person diagnosed with DLD, said: “I often feel my daughter must feel trapped inside her own mind, not being able to communicate as others do, or how she would like to.

"Thankfully, my daughter has a very supportive and understanding staff team in her reception classroom at school, as well as professionals involved to provide advice and guidance, which makes all the difference."

"The SLT team wants to help the children and young people in Leeds to communicate in a way that makes them feel happy, secure and confident."

Another Leeds parent of a young person diagnosed with DLD commented: “He is a bright boy like a lot of children diagnosed with DLD and he needs specialist care to help him to learn in a certain way.

"My son used to compare going to school like walking into a foreign country and having no ability to communicate with the people around him.”

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