Landmarks turning yellow and purple for DLD Day

ONE in every 14 children and adults have a Developmental Language Disorder, which causes significant issues with speaking and comprehension for those affected. In a bid to raise awareness of the hidden condition, which is very poorly identified in Ireland, and only becomes apparent to others when they talk to someone with it, and to stop those affected by DLD from feeling overlooked, an International DLD Awareness Day is being held on October 16. Now in its fourth year, The Echo will be marking the awareness day with a three-part series of articles talking to locals about the disorder, and what they want people to know about the condition - and how to seek help if they need it.

By Aideen O'Flaherty

DUBLIN landmarks are lighting up in yellow and purple this Friday, October 16, for International Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) Awareness Day, including St Maelruain’s Church, the Red Cow Moran Hotel and Citywest Business Campus.

With one in 14 people having this, hidden condition, a group of volunteers from around the country have come together to light up Ireland to spread awareness and bring DLD out of the shadows.

DLD Light Up Events Ireland 2020 Poster 1

The aim of International DLD Awareness Day is to highlight the disorder, which is a life-long condition, and to catch the attention of policy makers and bring about change for children and adults who have DLD.

It is estimated that there are 85,000 children (0-18 years) in Ireland who have the condition, with one of the main signs of the condition are difficulties with communicating, including understanding and using spoken language.

 There is no known reason for the condition, and left undiagnosed or unsupported it can reduce access to education, employment and social interaction.

Speaking to The Echo previously, 12-year-old schoolboy Robert Mockler explained the impact DLD has on him.

“Sometimes people think you don’t make sense when you’re talking, but sometimes when I’m speaking to people without DLD they don’t make any sense to me,” he said.

“In my day-to-day life, it’s hard, because it messes with your emotions and it can make you agitated.

2020 DLD See Me logo Square 1

“And there are things that other people can do, like they can just start writing a story off the bat, but I have to take a couple of minutes to even think of my first paragraph.”

Many family members of those affected and people in the medical field describe DLD as a hidden condition, so it’s hoped that lighting up buildings in purple and yellow this Friday will highlight the condition– and might lead to more people seeking a diagnosis.

DLD is more common than other well recognised neurodevelopmental disorders, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and research has shown that it affects 7.5 per cent of the total population of Ireland.

However, as a population, people with DLD face significant risks for conditions such as dyslexia and mental health disorders, and the condition is typically unknown in the public consciousness.

For further information on DLD, visit the Raising Awareness of Developmental Language Disorder website, radld.org, and search for the hashtags #devlangdis and #DLDSeeMe on Twitter to keep up-to-date with events marking the day internationally.

Special thanks to William Deveral of St Maelruain’s Church, Stephen Campbell, Citywest Campus, Karen Moran of the Red Cow Moran Hotel, John and Eoin Keating from Sound Lease in Ballymount and Graph Print for their local support of this year’s DLD campaign.

Scan the QR codes below to listen to what DLD means from professional and parent perspectives. 

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Local Voices Podcast: What is Developmental Language Disorder

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ISALT Podcast: DLD See Me Interviews to raise awareness of DLD

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