Developmental Language Disorder - DLD (previously known as Specific Language Impairment) can occur in the area of expressive (use of) language, receptive (understanding of) language or both.

Language disorders are distinct from speech disorders (that is, difficulties producing speech sounds), and may include weaknesses in vocabulary, word meanings or concept development.  It is recommended that individuals with language difficulties be assessed by a speech pathologist. Intervention from a speech pathologist is also likely to benefit the individual.

Children with receptive language difficulties are likely to have trouble comprehending information in class including understanding task instructions and developing an understanding of curriculum content. Weaknesses in comprehension often results in gaps in students' academic knowledge and difficulties learning at the same pace as their peers.

Expressive language weaknesses mean that a student is likely to experience difficulty expressing their knowledge and ideas through language.  Students with poor expressive language skills may have difficulty using specific vocabulary, appropriate grammar, and structuring texts logically. This can result in poor academic performance in speaking and writing tasks.

Children who present with language difficulties and disorders typically require additional help beyond targeted classroom support and should be referred to a speech pathologist for a more detailed evaluation and intervention tailored to their specific needs.  

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