SLI: Why you should care.

There is a drastic misconception in the community that as children we all learn to talk.  But sadly, we do not. And the costs to the community are huge. The sobering facts are:

· The incidence of severe Speech Language Impairment (SLI) in Australia is alarmingly high … 7 per cent (one in 14) meet the criteria for this disorder. (Imagine if you could not use language to communicate. Where would you be, do you think?)

·  Put another way, there is in the order of one child with an unexplained language disorder in every Australian school class.

·  Without intervention, gaining an education (and then employment) for these children is
problematic.  A young person who cannot communicate soon becomes despondent, isolated and potentially angry, disaffected and all too often, anti-social.

·  Australian studies show that some 50 per cent of youth offenders have a clinically significant but previously undetected oral language disorder.  It costs $250,000 a year to keep a young offender in custody.

·  Adults with SLI are at a disturbingly high risk (around 50 per cent) of developing depressive and anxiety disorders.

·  The costs to the community of speech language disorder are huge.

· This disorder affects five times as many people as autism yet receives one thirtieth of the
research funding.

The CHI.L.D. Association through its Glenleighden School, LET’s TALK Clinic, Outreach Service and eTherapy program has been working for 30 years tackling this insidious disorder and raising government and community awareness of the need to deal properly with children affected by it.

As the end of the financial year approaches, are you are able to help us? We and those we help would be sincerely grateful. Donations are tax deductible.

Where would you be, do you think, if you hadn’t learned to talk?

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