Finding a Voice ~ The Book

Available from Amazon.

Available on Amazon is Damian’s autobiography called ‘Finding a Voice‘ (can click on the link to the left, or on the picture). It is available in paperback and hardback at the price of £12.99 (UD$16.68) for paperback and £19.99 (UD$25.66) for hardback.

It is an in-depth account of Damian's life with the disability. He speaks of his love of working for the charity, Afasic as well as his work for the charity as a Vice President. There is a long chapter into the psychology of DLD where he speaks about several research papers into the disability and how it affects him. It is basically Damian breaking the disability down and then showing how it works.

It took him 3 years to write it and it was finally published in 2019 in time for DLD Awareness Day on October 18. Damian says that there were a number of times where he thought "Why am I doing this" then he thought of the end product and it spurred him on to complete the book.

Dorothy Bishop, a psychologist in the field of DLD says 'This is a very special book: as far as I know, it is the only autobiography written by someone with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). There’s a good reason for that: DLD is a disability that specifically affects the ability to communicate, whether by writing or speaking. So getting your thoughts down on paper is challenging if you have DLD: you have to cope with problems in finding the right words and expressing your thoughts in grammatical sentences, and as you struggle to get the ideas written down, your memory for what you want to say may evaporate.'

A review left on Amazon said 'This is the heart warming story of Damian who has grown up with a Developmental Language Disorder. Damian at an early age was diagnosed with a Speech and Language Disorder. Damian shares his experiences of living with a disability from his early childhood to his adult life, showing how having a disability has not stopped him from achieving great things in life and helping others with Speech and Language Disorders through the charity called Afasic. This is a most enjoyable and informative read.'

Another review on Amazon said 'It’s a great read, of a personal journey and it’s clear that Damian is passionate about spreading awareness of DLD. Knowledge is power, so if you have an interest in Speech & language please read this, it may help someone you know!

A promoter of the book said 'Your ideas are there, but your brain refuses to organize them. Sentences come out muddled, and your speech is slow. Learn more about the bravery of a man whose life story inspired us

Cover of Finding a Voice
Fig 4: Finding a Voice cover

What follows are some extracts from the book:

“Winter 1974. Somewhere in a town in the United Kingdom. It’s a cold, dark night. The wind is whistling all-around a house, and its cold icy breath stops any animal or insect to coming out and playing under the silvery light of the cold moon. Look there, something is moving…”

“DLD is not an uncommon disability. As previously mentioned, more than 6,000 children in the UK are diagnosed with DLD. However, like a fingerprint, you won’t find two DLD cases who are the same. I have friends from school who are DLD but show completely different characteristics to me…”

"When language problems occur with other more serious conditions, it is better to talk of ‘Language Disorder’, rather than DLD. For instance, language disorder can come along with Asperger’s Syndrome, which is on the Autism Spectrum. This is a disability where a child has difficulty with using language as well as socialising..."

"So, for the second year running, we managed to get through the Christmas concert without a hitch and then we listened to the comments of the concert coming in. Robert Meadmore (an actor and singer for the Musical Theatre) said “…that in my opinion the Afasic concert really is the best Christmas concert in town!”..."

From the book, Damian hopes that with this website, it will bring knowledge about the disability to everyone within the mainstream world, and also helps parents with children who have Developmental Language Disorder. He also would like to see his book even reaching the Royal Family, and the Government and teaching them about what the disability is all about. He says 'I wouldn't mind getting knighted for the services that I have done with Afasic as well as what I have done over the years.'

Now there is a new version of the book and the video above is a book trailer that accompanies the book. It was published on 9th November 2020 by Grosvenor House Publishing.

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