Landmarks lit up purple and yellow for DLD Awareness Day

By Aideen O'Flaherty

LOCAL landmarks lit up in purple and yellow and a local schoolboy bravely gave a presentation on what it’s like to live with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), to mark International DLD Awareness Day on Friday October 16, reports Aideen O’Flaherty.

DLD is a lifelong condition, and one of the main signs of the condition is difficulty with communicating, including understanding and/or using spoken language.

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Emma, Gar, Robert, James and Brenda at Dublin Castle (inset) Dublin Castle lit up purple

There is no known reason for the condition, and left undiagnosed or unsupported it can reduce access to education, employment and social interaction.

A number of local landmarks, namely St Maelruain’s Church, the Red Cow Moran Hotel and Citywest Business Campus, lit up in the colours of DLD – purple and yellow – on Friday October 16 to raise awareness of the condition.

For 12-year-old Citywest schoolboy Robert Mockler, who has DLD, it meant a lot to see people acknowledging DLD and he hopes the day raised awareness of the condition.

Robert told The Echo: “It was very busy and tiring getting to the landmarks but a lot of good things happened and I had fun doing it.”

In order to mark the day, Robert decided to give a presentation to his classmates about what it’s like to live with DLD, and he also answered questions that they had about the condition.

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Samuel Beckett Bridge and The Convention Center lit up purple and yellow for DLD Awareness Day Photo by Thyse Kavanagh

Reflecting on what it was like to give the presentation, Robert said: “I was nervous but it was fun and interesting, and thanks to my classmates and my friends for being so good about it.

“The questions were good, a lot of them asked me if DLD affected me playing sport and doing normal stuff, that was a good question.”

Robert’s teacher, Mr Lalor, said: “It really was beneficial for all concerned.

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: Robert outside Red Cow Moran Hotel (Left), St Maelruain’s church in Tallaght Village

“It was fantastic to see the children engage with Robert and ask some very insightful questions.

“We felt they came away with a better understanding of what it is like to live with DLD and how it can affect your daily life.”

The young boy also appeared on TG4 and in the Irish Times on the day to share his experience of living with the condition.

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The lights lit up at Citywest Business Campus

Robert’s mother Brenda, who is also The Echo’s office manager, said: “It was such an amazing day, the support I received at a local level was really brilliant.

“From a parent’s perspective, I’m so glad I got involved in raising awareness this year, as I have learned so much more about DLD in the process.

“If anyone out there thinks they or their child may have DLD or already have their diagnosis and you’re feeling a bit lost, go to RADLD.org – there is loads of information there or contact your GP for a referral to your local Speech and Language therapist.

“Althought there is still a lot of work in getting DLD better recognised in Ireland, DLD day 2020 was a great success.

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