Developmental Language Disorder Awareness Day
Also known as
DLD Awareness Day
on October 18th (2017)
the third Friday in October (since 2018)
RADLD on September 20th, 2017
Difficulty learning, understanding, and using spoken language can be symptoms of developmental language disorder (DLD), a condition that has been known for hundreds of years but didn't gain this name until 2017. It is also known as expressive-receptive language disorder, specific language impairment, speech-language impairment, and language delay. Besides having difficulties with spoken language, those with DLD may also have difficulties with written language, having issues with spelling, reading, and writing. Shortly after the designation of the new name, Developmental Language Disorder Awareness Day was created. It's an appropriate holiday since the general public doesn't have much awareness about DLD, there isn't much research done about it, and it has low numbers of clinical identification.
People all around the world have DLD, regardless of what language they speak. It is not often obvious who has the condition, and it may take a specialist to diagnose it, who doesn't take a brain scan or blood test, but instead observes how well an individual learns, understands, and uses spoken and written language. They may keep a lookout for troubles in organizing conversation, the use of simpler sentences, errors in speech, and subtle weaknesses in motor development.
Developmental language disorder starts in childhood and continues into adulthood. In one study, one in fourteen children showed symptoms of having it. It is caused by genetic, environmental, and neurobiological factors. Multiple genes mutating put people at higher risk for it, as does the environmental risk of being born prematurely. Differences in brain development may also play a role.
Developmental language disorder may occur alongside ADHD, dyslexia, and other learning disabilities. It may affect the emotional and social well-being of those who have it, and success in school and work may be affected. Children may have internalizing behaviors like anxiety and depression from it, and externalizing behaviors like aggression. It may cause social problems, making it harder for children to form relationships with others. This may last into adulthood, leading to employment that requires fewer skills or to less than full-time employment.
Speech-language therapists work with teachers and teaching assistants to execute interventions that may improve skills like vocabulary, narrative discourse, and phonological awareness of those with DLD. Speech-language therapists may take a more individualized approach with those with the worst cases of the condition. While these paths are taken with those who are known to have DLD, many with the condition go undiagnosed, more research needs to be done about the condition, and more awareness needs to be raised about it with the general public. Thankfully, Developmental Language Disorder Awareness Day takes place today and assists with these endeavors.
How to Observe Developmental Language Disorder Awareness Day
The best way to get started may be to explore and utilize the Resources, Media, & Ideas section of the day's official webpage. Posters, social media information, activity suggestions, and other resources can be found there. You could participate in "Tell Us Your Story" or get a landmark in your community to take part in a "Light Up" event. You could check out the Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube pages of Raising Awareness of Developmental Developmental Language Disorder (RADLD), the creators of the day. Some other ways to take part could be to learn about previous observances or to donate to RADLD.