Do you know about DLD? - C&D Independent Speech & Language Therapy
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Do you know about DLD?

Do you know about DLD?

Terminology can be confusing, especially when even the professionals use multiple names to refer to the same difficulties! Until recently, the terms ‘Specific Language Impairment’ (SLI), ‘language disorder’ and ‘developmental language impairment’ were used to refer to children who have a difficulty with expressive and/or receptive language skills that impact on their every day life .


Last year, a panel of 57 experts from around the world got together and reached a consensus on the wording for children’s language difficulties. They agreed on the following terms:

  • Language Disorder for language difficulties that significantly affect children’s lives and are unlikely to simply resolve.
  • Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) for a language disorder that is not associated with conditions such as autism, hearing impairment or Down’s Syndrome. Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) replaces the term Specific Language Impairment (SLI).


September 22nd was DLD Awareness Day, which centred around sharing the following three points:

  • DLD 1: Developmental Language Disorder is when a child or adult has difficulties talking and/or understanding language.
  • DLD 2: DLD is a hidden disability that affects approximately two children in every classroom, affecting literacy, learning, friendships and emotional well-being.
  • DLD 3: Support from professionals, including speech and language therapists and teachers, can make a real difference.


So, what should you look out for? Children may have problems with one or more of the key components of language including:

  • Understanding spoken language
  • Using spoken sentences, including problems with: vocabulary, grammar, word knowledge and naming
  • Children may also have difficulties with: knowing how and when to use language in social situations, and literacy skills including reading, writing and spelling
  • Children may have another speech and/or language difficulty in addition to their language learning difficulties, such as a speech disorder


Does this sound like your own child or a child that you work with? An assessment by a Speech and Language Therapist is key. If you live in Essex or the Bristol/Bath area, contact C&D Speech Therapy to find out how we can help.


Author: Anita Frediani, C&D Specialist Speech & Language Therapist

Lizzie Fox