Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is a common but often unidentified condition - 70,000 children in Ireland have this hidden disability. Children with DLD can struggle to understand what is said to them and to be understood. DLD is often mistaken for poor behaviour and complicated by co-occurring attention, motor and other difficulties.
DLD can have long term and detrimental effects on social, emotional, mental health and academic functioning. Support from professionals including speech and language therapists (SLTs) and teachers can make a significant difference to the lives of children with DLD.
SLT students and lecturers in the School of Allied Health at UL along with partners in education at Mary Immaculate College, the HSE and members of the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists are coming together to take part in an international campaign to increase awareness of DLD.
Limerick City and County Council will be supporting the day by lighting up its Corporate Headquarters in Merchant’s Quay purple and yellow.
The theme of the campaign is DLD- You and Me, aimed at ensuring those with DLD get to share what it is like to live with the condition and to what others can do to help them. Linked with this theme, researchers at the School of Allied Health and the School of Education at UL recently published a study funded by the Health Research Board, in which children with DLD from Limerick and other parts of Ireland were asked to co-design their ideal supports in school.
According to Aoife Gallagher, one of the researchers involved in the study, “asking children their views about supports has shown the important insights about how we, as practitioners, can help them to learn and participate in school.” The findings of this study can be found here.
We are encouraging any parents, children and young people in Limerick and the South West to share their story about living with DLD by uploading a short video on the campaign website - Tell Us Your Story. Such videos are a powerful way of telling policy makers and service planners about DLD.
We aim to spread the word and tell as many people as possible about DLD. Please get involved on October 18th 2019 by following us @schoolalliedhealth, @UL, @RADLD and using the hashtags #DLDYouandMe and #DLDFamilies. For further information click here.