Developmental Language Disorder is the name used to describe the difficulties that some children have with learning and using language. Language disorder is described as specific when these difficulties aren’t associated with other factors or conditions, such as general learning difficulties, cerebral palsy or autistic spectrum disorders. Children with other associated conditions are said to have Speech Language and Communication Needs (SLCN).
What does having Developmental Language Disorder mean for my child?
Those with Developmental Language Disorder are often just as clever as other children their age, but still have particular difficulties with learning to understand and to use speech and language. It means that whilst a child with developmental language disorder might be particularly bright, they may still struggle to understand the language used in their day-to-day lives. A child with DLD might have lots of ideas but struggle to put into words what they are thinking. This can then have a significant effect on the child’s ability to communicate and to learn in the classroom.
What causes Developmental Language Disorder?
Often there’s no obvious reason why a child with DLD doesn’t develop speech and language skills in the way that is expected, and it can appear very differently in different children. It is an extremely complicated issue as the cause remains largely unknown. What is known is that the speech and language part of the brain doesn’t develop in the typical way in children with Developmental Language Disorder, and that genetics play an important part in this. Unfortunately, there is no medical test to find out whether a child has DLD or not.
What can I do to help?
Children with Developmental Language Disorder won’t be able to just ‘pick up’ language. They will need to be taught language skills in a particular way by qualified individuals in order to reach their full potential. At London Speech Therapy, we work both in schools and privately with a large number of children with DLD, and we would be happy to meet with you in order to discuss the services that we are able to provide. Without the right support, DLD can cause life-long difficulties, so it’s important to get in touch if you do have any concerns about your child’s language development. With the right support, children with DLD can progress extremely well, and we believe that no child should be left out or left behind because of a difficulty speaking or understanding.
Get in touch today via firstname.lastname@example.org and ensure your child gets the best help possible.