Developmental Language Disorder (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. This results in children who have difficulty understanding what people say to them, and struggle to articulate their ideas and feelings. Recent research has shown that, on average, 2 children in every class of 30 will experience DLD severe enough to hinder academic progress.

In 2017, the first DLD awareness campaign was introduced with the theme DLD123 highlighting (1) DLD is a problem with speaking and/or listening, (2) it is hidden but common, and (3) support can help to improve the quality of life of affected children and their families.

Learn more about developmental language disorder (DLD)

  • How well do you know Developmental Language Disorder? Take our short quiz to test your knowledge.

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  • This simple calculator will show you on average how many people in your school or community have Developmental Language Disorder. On average, approximately 7% of the population have DLD. Disclaimer – The population calculator is based on a number of studies in children with Developmental Language Disorder.  Although the…

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  • An extensive list of Developmental Language Disorder fact sheets and resources will be made available here for download. Signs of Developmental Language Disorder (DLD)

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Developmental Language Disorder Stories

  • A day in the life of a . . . physiotherapist

      Hi I’m Emily and I’m a physiotherapist for SALDA. I work with students from Prep to Grade 12 at The Glenleighden School to assist students in optimising their movement. The goal of physiotherapy sessions is to improve the students’ health and wellbeing, especially their participation in the playground,…

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  • A day in the life of a . . . speech pathologist

      Hi, I’m Tom. I’m a speech language pathologist with SALDA at The Glenleighden School. I started at Glenleighden in January 2019, working in Senior School. I work with students from Grades 7 – 12, who all have difficulties using and understanding language. My role is to support their…

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  • A day in the life of an . . . occupational therapist

      Hi I’m Bec and I’m an occupational therapist with School Support Services.  I joined SALDA in 2017 to work on the development of our handouts and Online Learning Modules. I get to do something different each and every day, as well as meet educators and students with Language…

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  • A day in the life of a . . . teacher

      Hi I’m Emma and I’m a teacher at The Glenleighden School with the Early Childhood team.  I started at Speech & Language Development Australia in 2011 and have worked primarily in the early years.  I love being part of a close knit team with small class sizes so…

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  • Edison’s story

    Edison is a happy, friendly 13yr old who loves sport. She is an active member of our hockey club and also enjoys rugby league, soccer and cricket. She has a twin brother, Isaac, and the most gorgeous cat, Cherry-Evans. Edison also has a severe Language Disorder. We knew from…

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  • Brendan’s story

    Brendan was born a normal size, but grew very slowly. Despite being slow to crawl and walk, he was happy and healthy so his mother Sarah didn’t worry too much. He has always been the happiest and sweetest little boy you could imagine. Clumsy as a toddler, Brendan was…

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