DLD Awareness Day The DLD Project

TODAY, Friday 15 October 2021 is International Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) Awareness Day and this year’s campaign is asking teachers to #ThinkLanguage #ThinkDLD.

The goal is to increase the early identification of DLD and support for students at school. 

Parker, a 16 year-old thrill seeker and talented photographer diagnosed with DLD is calling on Australian teachers to learn about DLD so they can support students with this hidden but common condition to learn.

Parker was originally diagnosed with dyslexia in Grade 3 but due to continual difficulties at school that weren’t totally explained by dyslexia he received a diagnosis of DLD in early 2020. 

“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. Everything rushes to your mouth at once. I have to stop the sentence and restart or move onto something else.  My mates don’t really notice, but I do,” he explains.

Spoken language is the lifeblood of the classroom. It underpins all learning, relationships and mental health, from the very beginning to the very end of school. Most students thrive in this rich learning environment, but for some, listening and talking can be overwhelming.

Having a label has been life changing for Parker. It explains why he finds it difficult to understand when a teacher gives him an instruction and why he struggles to concentrate with his mind often going blank.

“It’s not that you’re not listening or paying attention. Knowing you have DLD means you don’t beat yourself up over it.”

Parker wants people to know that having DLD doesn’t mean you are ‘lazy’ or ‘stupid’. Just like him, the 1 in 14 people with DLD are working incredibly hard to keep up with what’s going on around them.

About DLD Awareness Day

Developmental Language Disorder Awareness Day, now in its fifth year, is celebrated annually around the world with more than 40 countries involved.

The DLD Project is also working to have landmarks around Australia light up in purple and yellow, the official DLD Awareness Day colours with 30 landmarks confirmed across the country. See the locations here.

What is The DLD Project?

The DLD Project is a social enterprise founded in Australia with the vision to create a world where people with DLD are recognised, understood, and empowered to live their best life.


If you’d like more information please send us an email at nat@thedldproject.com or call Nat Turner, Co-Founder of The DLD Project on 0405 134 077.

All of our resources are available via the following platforms:


Access pre-recorded audio grabs approved for national radio below from Parker and Shaun Ziegenfusz, Speech Pathologist, Researcher from Griffith University, and Co-Founder of The DLD Project.

PARKER Audio Grab 1 – “It’s like you have to work harder and when in class you just zone out, it’s like you only get hald of the story.”

SHAUN Audio Grab 1 – “DLD is more common than Autism and Hearing Impairment.”

SHAUN Audio Grab 2 – “Children with DLD are as intelligent as peers but may have issues with learning new words, following instructions, etc.”

SHAUN Audio Grab 3 – “In a class of 30 students, 2 children will have Developmental Language Disorder or DLD.”

Developmental Language Disorder Awareness Day MEME 2021 Australia