THE West Coast Language Development Centre used Developmental Language Disorder Awareness Day to highlight the extent of disability in the City of Joondalup.
Staff at the Padbury campus marked the initiative on October 19, highlighting that 11,224 people in the City had the hidden disability, affecting about 7 per cent of children generally.
People with the disorder have difficulties with talking or understanding language, which emerge early and persist into adulthood.
“Most people don’t know about developmental language disorder because it is a hidden disorder, but it has a huge impact on everyday life because we need to communicate all the time,” speech pathologist Emily Dawes said.
“It affects a child’s ability to learn at school because most learning at school occurs through language, and language is also the basis of reading.”
The centre is a specialist early intervention school provided by the Education Department for children from Kindergarten to Year 1 and has sites in Padbury, East Hamersley, Heathridge, and Quinns Beach.
Speech pathologists and teachers provide specialist language support to maximise the language and learning outcomes of students.
“Oral language is the foundation of human existence and it is a biological marvel that most of us learn to talk through interacting with others in our lives from birth,” principal Shelley Blakers said.
“Some children, due to no fault of theirs or their parents, struggle with language.
“They look like other kids but they misunderstand basic words, struggle to express their ideas and many struggle socially.
“Effective support comes from speech pathologists and teachers.”
For more information, visit https://radld.org/.