NHS therapist tackles the Three Peaks Challenge – with a twist

23rd June 2022

A Bournemouth-based therapist is taking on the Three Peaks Challenge to raise awareness of Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) among children.

And Rachel Harrison, who works for Dorset HealthCare’s Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy service, will be doing it the hard way.

She will climb Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon, but rather than driving in between the mountains in Scotland, England and Wales, she will be walking the whole way – around 470 miles over 24 consecutive gruelling days, starting on 20 August.

As part of her mission to make parents and teachers more aware of the condition, Rachel will be taking her ‘DLD mouse’ on the trek. And she has invited local schoolchildren to enter a competition to choose a name for it by 1 July, with the winner’s school receiving a special prize.

Rachel said:

“DLD is diagnosed when children have persistent difficulties acquiring their own language, for no obvious reason. This can result in children having difficulty understanding what people say to them, and who struggle to articulate their ideas and feelings. 

“My role involves working with children and young people with a whole range of speech and language difficulties, but I’ve noticed many teachers and parents haven’t heard of DLD. It’s a very common, but hidden, disorder and two children in a classroom of 30 will have DLD without knowing. 

“I hope by taking on this challenge and inviting children to get involved by naming my mouse it will increase the understanding of the disorder, so more young people can be supported.” 

Schools can send their name idea entries for the mouse to its social media accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

And the newly-named mouse will also be leaving a trail of regular updates throughout Rachel’s journey for all to follow via these channels.

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