Support for a hidden disability affecting 1 in 14 people


Developmental Language Disorder 

Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is a hidden but common disability that affects 1 in 14 people, making it difficult for them to understand and use language. Speech Pathology Australia has joined the campaign on 20 October 2023 to raise awareness of DLD and the important role that speech pathologists have in supporting the communication needs of people with DLD.

"Certified speech pathologists can provide specialist support for people with DLD and develop strategies to help people understand language," said Speech Pathology Australia National President, Kathryn McKinley.

"With their specialist knowledge of the sound system of English, certified speech pathologists can help people who need support with letter-sound relationships, helping them to read and also to understand what they read. "Support for oral language development is also particularly relevant to literacy in Australian schools as language development in the early years of a person's life is critical to their life outcomes," said Kathryn.

The 2023 DLD Day theme is DLD Around the World, highlighting that DLD affects people around the world regardless of age, gender, language spoken or ethnicity.

Speaking more than one language does not cause DLD. In fact, people with DLD can learn multiple languages. DLD is a neurodevelopmental condition affecting how the brain processes language, so it makes sense that we find it in every country and every language.

Raising Awareness of Developmental Language Disorder (RADLD), the peak body who coordinate international DLDday are advocating for increased recognition and support for people with DLD around the world.  "People with DLD are 6 times more likely to suffer from anxiety and three times more likely to have clinical depression. They are also at significant risk of struggling with reading, spelling and mathematics. Although DLD is a common condition affecting many areas of life, people with DLD are unlikely to receive access to services," said Chairperson of RADLD, Stephen Parsons.

Developmental Language Disorder Day #DLDDAY, now in its seventh year, is celebrated annually around the world with more than 40 countries involved.