"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," says 12-year-old Robert Mockler.
Developmental language disorder (DLD) is diagnosed when a child’s language skills are persistently below the level expected. In DLD, language deficits occur in the absence of another condition, such as autism spectrum disorder, and children may have difficulty understanding instructions, finding the right words, using correct grammar and telling stories.
“In my day-to-day life, it’s hard, because it messes with your emotions and it can make you agitated,” says Robert. “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.”
Referred to as "the most common childhood condition you have never heard of", Friday, October 16th is International Developmental Language Disorder Awareness Day and, to mark it, several landmarks around the country are lighting up in purple and yellow – including Dublin Castle, Cork City Hall, the Rock of Cashel, and National University Ireland Galway.
It is estimated that 70,000 school-aged children in Ireland are living with DLD – with 1 in 14 people in total having the condition.
The theme of this year’s campaign is “DLD See Me”, with the focus on giving children and adults with DLD a voice.
List of Irish landmarks that will light up for DLD Day
Clare County Council
Blackrock Castle Observatory, Cork
Cork City Hall
University College Cork
Six Public Service Centres, Donegal
Air Traffic Control Tower, Dublin Airport
Citywest Business Campus, Dublin
Dublin City University
National Convention Centre, Dublin
Red Cow Moran Hotel, Dublin
Samuel Beckett Bridge, Dublin
St Maelruain's Church of Ireland, Dublin
Swords Castle, Dublin
National University of Ireland, Galway
County Buildings, Kerry
Killarney Town Hall, Kerry
Tralee Municipal District Office Building, Kerry
Kildare County Council
City Hall (The Tholsel), Kilkenny
County Hall, John Street, Kilkenny
Limerick City and County Council
University of Limerick
Dundalk County Hall, Louth
Dundalk Townhall, Louth
Millmount Fort, Louth
Buvinda House, Meath County Council
Monaghan County Museum