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Awareness day to recognise hidden disability

16 October 2019

​Parents in Jersey who are concerned about their child’s language development are being urged to ask for help and support as Developmental Language Disorder Day (DLD) happens this week.

Developmental Language Disorder Day (DLD) is held on Friday 18 October and aims to increase awareness of the hidden condition to better recognise and offer support to those showing signs. 

DLD is diagnosed when a child shows signs of difficulty in acquiring language for no obvious reason. Lack of diagnosis and adequate support can lead to children having difficulty understanding and processing what people say to them and struggling to articulate their ideas and feelings. 

But the message from Jersey’s dedicated Speech and Language therapy team, based at Overdale Hospital, is that there is help available.

The Speech and Language Therapy Department is raising awareness this year of the disorder by sharing information and resources with all early years settings and schools on the island.

Julia Wycherley, Senior Speech and Language Therapist said: ”Support from families and professionals, including teachers and Speech and Language Therapists, can make a real difference for children. 

“DLD can’t be cured, but we can ensure that children receive treatment early so that they can reach their full potential. Without diagnosis, the disorder has been found to have complex long-term impacts on people such as difficulty building and sustaining relationships, coping with emotional wellbeing and issues with sustaining employment.”

Poor awareness about DLD means those affected are often mistaken as being inattentive or having a more general learning difficulty meaning they often don’t get the support they require to learn. Teenagers diagnosed with DLD have been found to be twice as likely to experience symptoms of depression as other children. 

More information about DLD can be found at the RADLD website which has resources for parents who want to find out more.

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