Imagine being in a foreign country, where no one understands you and try as you might, you cannot get your message across – this is what it is like every day for a child with Primary Language Disorder. Primary Language Disorder (or specific language impairment) affects approximately one in 14 of our population. These children look like any other child, they do not have autism and are not intellectually impaired. They have profound difficulty comprehending even the simplest of instructions and structuring their language to tell someone their needs and wants. They can become frustrated, isolated from their peers and have significant difficulty engaging in their education.
CHI.L.D Association has been helping children who have Primary Language Disorder and their families for over 30 years. The Glenleighden School, in Fig Tree Pocket, Brisbane, is the only school of its kind in the southern hemisphere, specifically catering to the needs of children with Primary Language Disorder. CHI.L.D also runs a clinic and an outreach service, seeing children all over Queensland, and provides an eTherapy program for remote and isolated children.
People around Australia and the world travel great distances to attend Glenleighden to help their children. Pam and Murray sold their Melbourne home and moved more than a thousand kilometres so their son could attend.
Carolyne and Mick did the same, but in the opposite direction from Cairns. For another family it was even further. Three thousand kilometres in fact. From Darwin. One mother made the move from Townsville. Another sold up too and relocated from Toowoomba. A third drove the 240km round trip from Toowoomba every day for a year until her little boy could be transitioned to a local school. Elena and Marcello said goodbye to their home, their friends and families and shifted too … from Sydney. Julie’s husband couldn’t just sell the family property in Moree in central western New South Wales, so Julie took her little girl and set off for Brisbane to find a place to rent. They commuted back to their home eight hours drive away during the holidays. And so on. One little boy and his mum came from New Zealand. Another family from Adelaide. One grandad drives 1000kms a week to take his grandson to Glenleighden. And has done so for years.