Big banana lights up purple for Developmental Language Disorder awareness

Ambassador for the DLD Project, Parker is a talented animal photographer.

 

COFFS Harbour’s Big Banana will turn purple on Monday, 18 October to mark Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) Awareness Day, the world’s largest day of action shining a light on this ‘invisible’ communication disability that affects two children in the average New South Wales classroom.

DLD is a brain difference that makes talking and listening difficult.

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It is 50 times more prevalent than hearing impairment and five times more prevalent than autism.

Parker, a 16-year-old thrill seeker and talented photographer diagnosed with DLD is calling on Australian teachers to #ThinkLanguage #ThinkDLD.

Parker was originally diagnosed with dyslexia in Grade Three but due to continual difficulties at school, that weren’t totally explained by dyslexia, he received a diagnosis of DLD in early 2020.

“It’s not that you’re not listening or paying attention.

“DLD feels like everything is going over my head all the time.

“When I talk, it feels a bit like I’m about to stutter.

“I have to stop the sentence and restart or move on to something else,” Parker told News Of The Area.

Children with DLD are as intelligent as their peers, but may experience difficulties with understanding instructions, answering questions, learning new words, putting words together to speak in sentences, reading, writing, telling stories, and playing with others.

With his personal lifetime’s experience and diagnosis, Parker wants people to know that having DLD doesn’t mean you are “lazy or stupid”.

Just like him, the one in fourteen people who have DLD are working incredibly hard to keep up with what’s going on around them.

“It’s OK to have DLD. People need to be patient and not get frustrated.

“It would be easier if more people knew about DLD.”

Parker is an ambassador for The DLD Project.

Together, they are asking families, and teachers to keep an eye out, and whenever they see a child struggling with learning, #ThinkLanguage #ThinkDLD.

You can find out more about Developmental Language Disorder at thedldproject.com.

 

By Andrea FERRARI

 

Parker, skydiving with mum Lou, making the most of life.

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