Toggle menu

What is Developmental Language Disorder (DLD)


Summary of what DLD is

  • Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is a life-long condition that can be diagnosed by a Speech and Language Therapist (SALT).
  • DLD used to be known as Specific Language Impairment (SLI).
  • There is no known single cause for DLD, although it can run in families.
  • DLD is more common than autism; however, it is not as widely known.
  • DLD affects approximately 7% of children in the UK.
  • DLD is hidden and affects approximately 2 children in every classroom, impacting literacy, learning, friendships, and emotional well-being.
  • DLD can be missed, misdiagnosed, or misinterpreted as poor behaviour, poor listening, or inattention.
  • Left unidentified and unsupported, DLD can reduce access to education, employment, and social interaction.
  • DLD affects every individual differently, and there are a wide variety of ways in which language needs to be present and evolve over time.

Children and young people with DLD can have difficulties with

  • listening and attention
  • memory
  • processing language
  • following instructions
  • understanding questions 
  • understanding and using vocabulary
  • expressing what they want to say
  • social interaction
  • using language to regulate their behaviour 
  • phonological awareness, reading and writing 

Children and young people with DLD are more likely to experience anxiety and depression than their peers


Links to external websites


Continue reading


Plymouth's Local Offer is organised into four main categories covering the following age ranges:

 Plymouth Local Offer homepage



Is the information correct?

Let us know if the information on this page is wrong and needs to be updated.


What Is The Local Offer Promotional Quote

Share this page

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share by email