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Developmental Language Disorder is called DLD for short.


Developmental means ‘something you grow up with.’ It is something a person has always had.

Language means understanding what others say and talking.

Disorder means when something doesn’t work the way it should.


So ‘DLD’ means, when a child grows up having difficulties with understanding and/or talking.

When you look at someone, you can’t see that they have DLD – it’s a hidden difficulty.

What causes DLD_
What causes DLD?

What Causes DLD?

There is no simple reason why some people have DLD and find language tricky. Researchers think it is partly something people are born with. How we grow up and the different ways our brains develop might also play a part.


DLD is not caused by other conditions like autism or brain injury.  People with these conditions may also find language tricky, but they do not have DLD.

Speaking more than one language
What about if I speak more than one language?

What about if I speak more than one language?


Learning a new language is tricky for everybody, but DLD makes all languages that you speak hard.


It is really good to be able to speak more than one language, and people with DLD can still do this.

What are people good at_
What are people with DLD good at?

What are people with DLD good at?


People with DLD can be great at lots of different things. 

You might be good at sport, art, music, gaming, fashion, making people laugh...

What are you good at? If you like, tell us and we will add it to the ShareSpace!

What might be difficult_
What might be difficult when you have DLD?

What might be difficult when you have DLD?


Here are some of the things that people with DLD might find tricky:

  • Understanding what other people say

  • Remembering what people say

  • Working out the right words to say

  • Putting ideas into sentences and stories

How many people
How many people have DLD?

How many people have DLD?


If you have DLD, you are not alone. 


DLD is very common. That means lots of people have it. 

We think 7% of children have DLD. That is 2 children in every classroom who find language tricky. 

Will I always have DLD_
Will I always have DLD?

Will I always have DLD?

DLD does not go away. That means there are children, teenagers and adults who have DLD.


With help from speech and language therapists/pathologists, teachers and your family, talking and understanding can get easier.

There are lots of things you can do to make living with DLD easier. Get some ideas here.

Student with Developmental Language Disorder writing

School and learning

As well as talking, DLD can make reading and writing hard. Lessons involve a lot of talking, reading and writing. There are lots of long, complicated words to remember. It might be hard to concentrate. There are lots of things teachers can do to help you at school. 

School and learning
How might DLD affect me
Devlopmental Language Disorder and friendship, social


Some people with DLD find it harder to make and keep friends. It can be difficult to understand jokes, keep up with conversations, or understand and write messages online. If you find this hard, it is good to tell to someone at school and your family.

developmental language disorder, emotions, well being


Having difficulties talking or understanding can give you strong feelings. Some people feel angry, frustrated, worried, stressed, or alone. Some people say they don't feel very confident. If you feel this way, it is good to talk to someone you trust.


How might DLD affect me?

DLD is different for everyone.

As well as finding language tricky, people with DLD have said that different things can be hard. The examples here might be hard for you, but they might not be. There might also be other things you find hard.

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