The term Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) was launched in 2017, with the first awareness day taking place quickly afterwards. Tomorrow is this year’s DLD Awareness Day and although each year the day is becoming bigger and better, awareness of DLD continues to be low. This means that children with DLD continue not to be identified and, as a result, they are unable to get the support that they need.
It is important that all of us working with children do our best to raise awareness of this hidden, but common, lifelong disorder. 1 in 14 people have DLD; this means that the average classroom has two children with DLD, and it is likely that some adults you know will also have DLD, even though it may not have been diagnosed.
This year’s campaign is ‘DLD – See Me’ with the aim that families, teachers, therapists and the community come together to ensure people with DLD no longer feel invisible. We all have a role to play in raising awareness and understanding of DLD so that the children we work with can get the support, understanding and, ultimately, funding they need. Here are some ways that you can help raise awareness of DLD:
- Head to the RADLD website at https://radld.org/ for all things DLD including posters, fact sheets and logos. The website is full of information and resources to share with colleagues and families, including engaging videos via their YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/RADLD
- Arrange an informal staff meeting (face to face or remotely) to share information about DLD, which could include watching this year’s #DLDSeeMe awareness video. Ask staff to complete the DLD quiz and see who knows the most about DLD!
- Make #DevLangDis rocks using the DLD logo and hide them around the school, at the beach or anywhere in your local area to spread the word in the community about DLD. You could include a message asking those that find them to share a picture on social media.
- Put up posters around the school to promote the day. There are lots of free printable posters on the RADLD website, so there’s no excuse not to put them up everywhere!
- Have a ‘No Pens Wednesday’ (or in this case Friday) in school where teachers and pupils put down their pens and have a day of speaking and listening activities. Children with DLD struggle to manage understanding and using spoken language within the classroom, let alone applying squiggles and shapes (letters) to this for reading and writing. Completing activities that focus on talking and listening is more inclusive and helps to develop communication skills for all. Find out more by visiting https://ican.org.uk/no-pens-day-wednesday/
Most importantly, share everything that you do for DLD Day on social media using #DLDSeeMe