What you need to knowabout developmental language disorder Could i t be DLD? I n the average class of 30 children, two will be affected by developmental language disorder. Despite its prevalence – it affects seven times more children than autism – it’s likely that many in the teaching profession will have never heard of it. Yet its impact can be both extensive and long-term, affecting the way in which children use and understand spoken language. DLD is a hidden disability, and as such can often go unidentified or be misinterpreted. Accurately identifying children’s needs is key to helping them be both understood and supported. Take the child who often seems to have their head in the clouds, or doesn’t follow instructions in class. Perhaps this isn’t down to a lack of attention and concentration on their part. It’s possible that they’re not purposefully ignoring you. If DLD is the issue, they may not actually understand what you are asking and struggle to follow the flow of information. What about the child who isn’t interacting well with others in the class? There’s a chance that this may not be shyness, but rather a symptom of DLD that can manifest as a difficulty in joining in conversations, understanding jokes and comprehending non-literal language. Communication issues such as these can cause children to miss the usual conversational cues and conventions that form the very essence of social interactions. Making friends – one of the cornerstones of a happy and settled school life – thus becomes a much more complex process. As a consequence, DLD can be commonly misinterpreted as a form of challenging behaviour, with a child left confused by day-to-day school rules and structures and isolated within the playground. Long-lasting effects Left unidentified, the challenges faced by children with DLD will be far-reaching. Find more at TEACHWI RE . NET Our sister title SENCo provides useful ideas, practical guidance and thoughtful insights into SEND provision. Request your free copy at REQUEST YOUR FREE COPY NAOMI REED DifferentiationFor HomeSchooling It’s not something that has to stop once your students’ learning is taken outside the classroom… Read it at BackToThe DailyRoutine Transitioning out of lockdown will be tough for everyone, but especially for children with SEND. Read it at Reasonable Adjustment What schools sometimes overlook when it comes to drawing up accessibility plans. Read it at 40 |