Category: DLD

We are making progress with DLD

It sometimes feel that we have an impossible hill to climb for Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). Whilst it is true that awareness and services are nowhere near where they need to be I have seen a number of promising signs recently.

  1. DLD day was bigger and better than ever last year. There were more events and social media posts. More countries are getting involved, from Greece to Nigeria!
  2. In the UK, action for DLD is happening everywhere wth Wales and Northern Ireland, in particular making big gains recently.
  3. In October 2023 I spoke at the TES SEND exhibition and 100% of the audience (largely SENCOs, and senior leaders) had heard of DLD. They were keen to find out more about what to do. In my experience it is increasingly common to meet teachers who have heard of DLD. This is a huge change from where we were three years ago. A real indication of the work going on. Well done all.
  4. In Facebook groups for families of children with DLD there are increasing numbers of families reporting their children are being diagnosed. Again, a big increase from where we were a few years ago.
  5. The DLD vision for the UK has now been launched. This was developed in partnership with people with DLD and families. I think this is a world first and it will help to drive developments further.
  6. Researchers are now finding families keen to get involved in their research. I had a recent query from a researcher seeking families to join an advisory group. I posted it to the ‘DLD Together’ Facebook group. The researcher emailed the next day saying she’d been inundated! This is a huge change from a few years ago when researchers often struggled to recruit families to such groups.
  7. Neurodiversity is starting to include DLD. Embracing Complexity is a collaboration developing practice and research about people with multiple diagnoses, and now have people with DLD on their advisory board.
  8. Adults with DLD are starting to make their voices heard. There are very few of them, and diagnosis in adulthood is nigh on impossible, but we have some amazing advocates.
  9. There are exciting service developments also such as the Interactive DLD Bubble developed by the Commit team from Wales. See here for more details.

We are still waiting for our big breakthrough moment, but momentum is building, and unexpected advances are happening.

*adapted from NAPLIC newsletter article first published in November 2023. Become a member and receive NAPLIC news straight to your inbox.

Supporting Children and Young People with Developmental Language Disorder: A Toolkit For Practitioners now available

The Communication Intervention Team (ComIT), with support from NAPLIC have developed a DLD Toolkit for practitioners.

The toolkit provides information, strategies, practical activities and suggested resources that can be used within the classroom to support communication development.

It uses the RADLD DLD Bubble Resource which highlights areas Children and Young People with Developmental Language Disorder may have difficulty with.

Watch the video below:

View and download toolkit

NAPLIC joins collaboration to launch new vision for people with DLD

NAPLIC has been working with Afasic, RCSLT and alongside people with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) and their families to launch a new vision for the future.

DLD is a form of neurodiversity in which children do not acquire language as expected. People with DLD may have challenges with understanding what others say to them and with articulating their own thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

The DLD vision aims to provide a brighter future for people with DLD and was developed through a series of workshops with adults and young people with DLD and their families.

Together the group came up with five key ambitions for what they would like to see in the future:


Building better Developmental Language Disorder services: where to start?

Stephen Parsons, NAPLIC Chair, shares his thoughts

With such low awareness of Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), patchy services and lack of school support for many it can be hard to see a way forward, particularly in the current economic and political crisis. 

It won’t be easy, but there is a way forward, and the power lies in the hands of Speech and Language Therapists. 

With an incidence of 7.6% (Norbury 2016), DLD is the most common speech, language and communication need. It is 5 times more common than autism. And that 7.6% equates to 1 million children and young people (under 18) across the UK. Imagine for a moment if each of every one of those children and young people knew they had DLD. Their families would know about DLD. Their teachers would know about DLD. We would have a ‘DLD army. ‘

And that DLD army could go places. Not only would awareness be far higher, but the sheer number of people would create a great political force. DLD would be a much higher priority and services, support and research would all grow. 

That’s the ambition. How do we get there? Before any child or young person can join the 1 million strong DLD army they first need to know they have DLD. And that’s where Speech and Language Therapists (SaLT) come in. SaLT are the key professionals for diagnosing DLD, and so each and every one of us has a role to play. I am not saying that these changes will happen overnight, but we need to keep that vision in mind and move towards it one small step at a time. 

DLD is so common that all SaLT who work with children and young people need to be confident with its diagnosis. DLD diagnosis should be a bread and butter SaLT skill. To meet this end NAPLIC has created a series of online modules. These all address commonly asked questions related to DLD diagnosis, so will build practitioner knowledge. To make best use of the modules, gather a group of colleagues, and book in a time to review them together. There are reflection tasks which are suited to group discussion, and putting your learning into practice will also benefit from group work. The modules are free to all. 

Check them out: 

To develop robust systems of support across services, specialist SaLT will need a deeper set of skills. And once again this is where NAPLIC comes to the rescue. On Friday April 21st we are holding a symposium on DLD diagnosis. Professor Lisa Archibald is coming over from Canada to lead this one off event. Lisa is one of the world’s’ leading experts on DLD diagnosis. She has developed the DLD diagnostics toolkit, which is free and online here: This is a very useful tool and will be the basis of the symposium. There will be opportunities for discussion around case studies to deepen understanding with other knowledgeable colleagues 

This symposium is open to all, but we especially encourage specialist Speech and Language Therapists who lead on DLD who are involved in diagnostic teams to attend. This is a one off chance and will not be repeated. For details and booking:   

Together we can make a difference.

NAPLIC launches free DLD online learning modules

NAPLIC has launched a series of online learning modules designed for professionals who have some understanding of Developmental Language Disorder (DLD), but who wish to develop greater insight and skill with diagnosing the condition.

These free modules are between 20 and 60 minutes long and feature additional handouts and resources.

Access the modules

Evolving practice to support children and young people with SLCN during the pandemic

An online CPD event with eight speakers presenting lightning talks was held on 11/7/20. Together the presenters showed the diversity of the approaches that speech and language therapists and SLCN specialist teachers are using to respond to the pandemic. Also the NAPLIC AGM at the end.

Click here for the link to the documents including the recording. The CPD element is about 1 hour and 30 minutes long.

Elena Loraine: Capturing changes to paediatric Speech and Language Therapy due to covid-19 measures

Carolyn Gelenter: Student voice and transitions during the pandemic

Emma Jordan: Joint working with schools during the pandemic

Mandy Hill: Recovery Conversations: how can we support our SLCN and DLD children?

Sarah Olulode: Developing secondary students’ oracy through remote discussion

Rafiah Badat: Mind maps apps for remote vocabulary therapy

Jenny Jarvis: Can You See My Voice? Aiding Early Years Communication

Fiona Collins: ‘Even the smallest actions are steps in the right direction’ – developing practice with the DLD friendly audit

NAPLIC launches ‘DLD friendly’ scheme

To support services implement the changes to DLD terminology and criteria NAPLIC has developed the ‘DLD friendly’ scheme.

This is a simple self audit which outlines the general areas of service change. Once submitted and approved the ‘DLD friendly’ logo can then be added to letterheads, email signatures etc.

The scheme is open to Speech and Language Therapy and specialist education services which support children and young people with DLD, from all parts of the UK. At this point in time the scheme is not suitable for schools or individual practitioners. The services must be either a group member or have two staff members who are NAPLIC members at the time of submission.

More information and how to apply is available via the Member Area for all NAPLIC members.

New information leaflets released for NAPLIC members

The first in a series of information leaflets have just been published by NAPLIC and are available for all NAPLIC members via the Members Area of the website.

These leaflets focus on DLD and are a useful resource for NAPLIC members and are entitled ‘What is DLD’, ‘DLD take a second look’ and ‘DLD Strategy Tree’. They are yours to print off and hand out to families or other professionals.

First announcement for NAPLIC’s 2019 conference

The 2019 NAPLIC conference will be entitled “Growing up with DLD” and will take place on 11th May 2019 at the Conference Aston Meeting Suites, Aston University, Birmingham.

We are excited to announce the first conference speakers at our NAPLIC 2019 conference who include Danielle Matthews, Cristina McKean and Maxine Winstanley.

You can now register your interest to be notified when booking is open.

Developmental Language Disorder Awareness Day is on October 19th

The second Raising Awareness of Developmental Language Disorder (RADLD) Day will be held on Friday October 19th. NAPLIC is part of the international RADLD consortium, and it looks set to be bigger than last year’s amazing event.

The 2018 theme is DLDABC. For inspiration go to There are stickers to print off as well as ideas for you to get involved. Whatever you do, take photos and post them on social media tagged #DLDABC and #devlangdis. We urge everyone to join in and spreading the word about DLD.


We are making progress with DLD

Published 21st February, 2024

NAPLIC 2024 Conference Bookings Now Open!

Published 17th January, 2024

NAPLIC Autumn 2023 Newsletter is now available

Published 11th December, 2023


NAPLIC 2024 Conference booking now open

The NAPLIC 2024 Conference will be held in Birmingham on Saturday April 27th 2024. We will keep you updated with the details as they are finalised.

Book online


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