High View Primary School

‟High View is an exciting place to learn and grow,
where everyone is valued for who they are.”

Developmental Language Delay

What is developmental language delay (DLD)?

Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is the new term to replace Specific Language Impairment (SLI). Developmental Language Disorder is diagnosed when children fail to acquire their own language for no obvious reason. In 2017, a group of 59 experts—most, but not all, of whom were speech pathologists—from six different English speaking countries (29 from the United Kingdom, seven from the United States, eight from Canada, six from Australia, four from New Zealand, and three from Ireland) participated in a consensus-building exercise aimed at identification criteria and terminology. The group were called the CATALISE group (Bishop, Snowling, Thompson, Greenhalgh, & CATALISE Consortium, 2016; Bishop, Snowling, Thompson, Greenhalgh, & CATALISE-2 Consortium, 2017).

The group recommended that the term Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) be used to refer to neurodevelopmental language deficit. 

DLD causes difficulties with speaking and understanding for no known reason. There are serious and long-term impacts, as it puts children at greater risk of failing at school and struggling with mental health and future employment.  The biggest challenge with DLD is you can’t tell by looking at a person that they have DLD.

  • DLD is a brain difference that makes talking and listening difficult. It is 50 times more prevalent than hearing impairment and five times more prevalent than autism. (McGregor, 2020)
  • People with DLD are six times more likely to have reading difficulties and four times more likely to struggle with math. (Young et al., 2002)
  • The condition tends to run in families. Twin studies indicate a strong genetic influence on DLD, but this seems to reflect the combined impact of many genes, rather than a specific mutation (Bishop, 2006).
  • DLD commonly co-occurs with other neurodevelopmental conditions such as ADHD, Developmental Coordination Disorder, dyslexia, and dyscalculia. (Cleaton & Kirby, 2018)

  • The popular view the disability is caused by parents who don’t talk to their children has no evidence-based support.

What are the signs of DLD?

A person with DLD may struggle to follow instructions (i.e. “Before you get your English book out, put your pencil case on the desk”) and use shorter and simpler sentences when speaking (i.e. “She kick ball” instead of “She kicked the ball”).  They may also present with other co-occurring difficulties such as dyslexia, ADHD, dysgraphia, dyscalculia and developmental coordination disorder/dyspraxia. 


dld awareness flyer.pdf

How can I help my child's speaking and listening skills development?

I CAN's Talking Point gives parents and carers the information they need to help children develop their speaking and understanding skills. If a child has difficulty with speaking, they may need help, or they may struggle in nursery or school. 

I CAN has developed a range of resources and factsheets to help children with speech, language and communication needs.  

At High View,  we will regularly assess your child's speech and language development and will discuss with you, what support we are providing for your child should they need additional interventions.

Please see the I CAN website for further information: https://ican.org.uk/