Understanding Developmental Language Disorder

Sep 8, 2023

By James Gardner – Speech & Language Therapist

Ever struggled to find the right words, or felt like your sentences just don’t come out the way you want them to? You’re not alone – many individuals experience something called Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), a condition that shapes the way people understand and express language, vocabulary, and grammar.

DLD isn’t as rare as you might think – it touches about 7.58% of people worldwide, making it more common than autism. Some estimates suggest that up to 40% of individuals with autism also have DLD. DLD and autism often walk hand in hand, with autistic children facing challenges in grasping language, and signs of this can show up in their early interactions.

However, it’s important to remember that while DLD and autism are intertwined for some, not everyone with DLD has autism, and not all autistic individuals have DLD. While both conditions can affect language development, they have different underlying causes and symptoms.

Life for individuals with DLD can be challenging. Because of their challenges with language, they can struggle with social interaction and feel isolated, lonely and that they don’t fit in. They can struggle at school, particularly in areas that require language skills, such as English, History, and Literacy. Their challenges with communicating effectively can cause them to feel frustration and anxiety, leading them to become overwhelmed and at risk of low self-esteem and mental health issues.

Early identification of DLD can help to reduce the risk of mental health problems by providing appropriate support and interventions. Speech and Language Therapy can help individuals with DLD to develop language skills and improve communication, which can reduce feelings of frustration and anxiety.

Detecting DLD early allows us to provide tools to navigate a world of words more confidently. At Minds & Hearts, we’re dedicated to nurturing the abilities of individuals with DLD. We recognize that this journey is marked by unique struggles, and our mission is to ensure that these individuals can move forward with resilience and self-assurance.

If you would like to make an appointment at Minds & Hearts please contact us.