Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust are supporting DLD Awareness Day
11 October 2019

Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust are supporting DLD Awareness Day

Developmental Language Disorder – DLD – is when a child or adult has difficulties understanding language. It is a hidden yet common condition, thought to affect an average of two children in every classroom. Children with DLD have problems understanding what people are saying or signing, and struggle to express their ideas and feelings. DLD affects language acquisition, but also other areas of development that rely on having good language skills such as literacy, and social, emotional and mental health development.

The fantastic news is that support from professionals, including Speech and Language Therapists and teachers, can make a real difference to children and adults diagnosed with DLD. With this in mind, Speech and Language Therapists from Sussex Community NHS Foundation Trust (SCFT) have joined forces with specialist teachers and private therapists across Sussex to support DLD Awareness Day on Friday 18 October.

Marie Newton, Highly Specialist Speech and Language Therapist and Mainstream Schools Clinical Lead at SCFT, has personally persuaded Brighton Pier and British Airways i360 to light up purple on 18 October, joining prominent international landmarks including Niagara Falls and the CN Tower in Ontario.

“We are very excited British Airways i360 and Brighton Pier have agreed to join the campaign,” Marie explained. “Lighting up landmarks is an exciting way to raise awareness. Our hope is to increase understanding of the disorder, so we can help more people with strategies to improve their lives.”

Two groups of therapists, teachers and Raising Awareness of Developmental Language Disorder (RADLD) campaign committee members will gather at Brighton Pier and British Airways i360 at 6pm on 18 October to celebrate the landmarks lighting up purple.

This will be the culmination of a diverse week of activities:

  • There will be a DLD Awareness display at the Children and Families Clinic at Brighton General Hospital from Monday 14 October, featuring purple and yellow DLD decorations handmade by children from the hospital’s Hilltop Nursery.
  • On Friday 18 October, the Trust’s Speech and Language Therapy team will be wearing purple and yellow, and selling cakes in the Children and Families Clinic waiting room to raise money for the RADLD campaign. They will also have a limited number of “Let’s talk about DLD” badges available for £2 each, designed by Sootmegs, a local independent maker.
  • The RADLD campaign’s informative DLD 1-2-3 video is being shown in school assemblies and classrooms across the UK. Cottesmore St. Mary's Catholic Primary School in Hove have invited Bhaveshi Kumar, a Speech and Language Therapist at SCFT, to lead a special DLD assembly.

Look out for DLD Awareness Day updates on Twitter by following the RADLD campaign (@RADLDcam) and Marie Newton (@Seasaltbrighton) and searching for RADLD’s #DevLangDis and #DLDYouAndMe hashtags.