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What is Developmental Language Disorder (DLD)

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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

 

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