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Don’t be scared to ask for help: A parents view on DLD

Parents should follow their instincts and not be afraid to ask for help according to Moor House parent Jackie Thurtle, who offers a parents’ perspective on Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) in the latest Moor House Podcast.

Speaking ahead of DLD Awareness Day this Friday (16th October) Jackie, whose son Joseph, 17, has been at Moor House since the age of 8, spoke candidly about her experiences including how it felt to receive the diagnosis, the challenges faced along the way and what advice she would offer other parents.

“We didn’t really appreciate what was before us” she says, reflecting on Joseph’s frustrations with speech at an early age.

“We really had no idea what DLD was. He started to have seizures around the age of 4 which turned out to be a silver lining as that needed investigation and through that, we discovered a Speech and Language Disorder.

“As a parent I don’t think any diagnosis is particularly welcomed. It wasn’t easy emotionally, but we had a very helpful GP who referred us to Evelina Hospital where we met a fantastic multi-disciplinary team.

“The best advice we were given was by a Speech & Language Therapist at Evelina, an awesome man who we respected enormously. He asked if we’d ever heard of Moor House? That was a wonderful piece of information.”

On her advice to other parents Jackie says: “Take every piece of help that’s offered. The help is for your child and it’s no reflection on you.

“I think the other thing to bear in mind is that it’s not their fault and don’t apologise for them.

“There are situations I’ve found myself in public where I’ve wept because he hasn’t been accepted.

“People will be understanding if they can be, other won’t. I don’t apologise for anything he does because he is him and I’ve accepted that. Keep their spirits and sense of worth at the forefront of what you do.

“Reserve your strength, there will be lots of battles, but keep loving and holding each other. A lot of my friends ask me ‘how have you got a child who wants to cuddle you still’. Not many 17 year-olds want their Mum but he does, so that’s a huge silver lining for me.”

You can listen to the full interview with Jackie on the latest Moor House Podcast, available below.

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