“Now I understand!” a story aimed at families, students and teachers to help them understand the language disorder, in the Balearic Islands.

Jun 30, 2023 | Current affairs, Featured, Revista Lloseta, Thursday Daily Bulletin, Tradition

The specialised ECLA team has created the first story in Spain about this disorder.

The main characters are two students who tell in first person what it is like to live with a language disorder.

Understand the language disorder

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In the Balearic Islands, there are 4,029 students with NESE associated with language and communication development disorders.

The educational centres will receive a printed copy and will be able to access the material in PDF format.

“Now I understand!” is the title of the story written by the three speech therapist teachers who make up the Specific Communication, Language and Learning Team (ECLA) of the Regional Ministry of Education and Vocational Training. Maria Sbert, Miquela M. Sastre and Emilia Morell have written a story in which the two main children, Cristina and Miquel, tell in a simple and accessible way what the daily life of a person with a language disorder is like. This material aims to raise awareness of the characteristics and needs of these students in an easy, fun, approachable and optimistic way.

The publication has had the literary advice of Carme Planells while the illustrations and layout have been the responsibility of Sonia Gamundí. The Balearic Ministry of Education is responsible for the publication of this story and in this way contributes to providing a useful didactic element for schools that contributes to the knowledge of this disorder and, ultimately, to the well-being of children with language difficulties and their families.

The proposal arose at the initiative of the ECLA team as a result of the detection of a lack of awareness-raising material on the subject of language difficulties. In fact, on the market and dissemination platforms and associations, it is possible to find stories on other difficulties (ADHD, deafness, dyslexia, bereavement, etc.), mostly privately published, but not on language difficulties.

On the other hand, daily life in the classroom shows that one of the most useful materials to work on this aspect in the classroom and with children are stories.

Language impairment is a difficulty in acquiring language skills, both oral, written and signed. It can affect comprehension and expression, to varying degrees, of morphosyntactic, semantic, pragmatic and phonological dimensions. These difficulties begin early in the developmental period and can lead to impairments in social relationships, learning and emotional development. They cannot be attributed to other causes such as auditory, motor or cognitive problems, or other medical or neurological conditions.

The Specific Communication, Language and Learning Team (ECLA) was created in 2019 by the Diversity Attention Service of the General Directorate of Early Childhood, Innovation and Educational Community (Department of Education and Vocational Training). It is made up of speech therapists and its main functions are to support schools and families by collaborating in the assessment, coordination and intervention in cases of students with communication, language and learning difficulties in an inclusive educational context. ECLA also disseminates and publicises programmes, documents and other strategies to promote the improvement of communication and language skills of children and young people.

In the Balearic Islands, there are 4,029 pupils with SEN associated with language and communication development disorders, 547 with SEN associated with severe communication and language disorders and 72 with severe social communication difficulties. The latter are from 0 to 3 years old.