Developmental language disorder ARP

Developmental language disorder needs:

Cognition and learning

  • Learning may be over 2 years below age related expectations at primary due to the impact of their language and/or speech needs but with the right specialist support will make progress and access a mainstream curriculum.
  • Will have general abilities that fall within the broad average range but have language and/or speech needs that impact on their learning that require specialist teaching and intensive speech therapy.
  • Will show potential for being able to make good progress with access to the right specialist support.

Communication and interaction

  • Will be identified as having Development Language Disorder (DLD) and / or a significant Speech Sound Disorder as identified by a Speech and Language therapist.
  • Will have significant receptive and / or expressive language difficulties associated with developmental language disorder.
  • Their significant language and/or speech disorder will be impacting on the child / young person’s ability to build relationships.
  • Child / young person may present with social communication difficulties.
  • May have difficulties communicating with others for more complex reasons (for example, problem solving, asking for help)
  • May have difficulties with their social understanding, for example identifying the thoughts, feelings and intentions of others.
  • May have accompanying language difficulties including understanding non-literal language.

Social, emotional and mental health

  • May present with additional behaviour or emotional needs but this will not be their main area of need.
  • Their significant language and/or speech disorder may be impacting on their wellbeing and self-esteem.
  • Can manage unstructured time independently or with minimal support.

Sensory, physical and medical

May present with additional sensory, physical and medical needs but this will not be their main area of need.

Support needed for developmental language disorder

Curriculum, teaching and learning

  • Children and young people require some small group teaching for specific speech and language interventions.
  • At primary age, speech and language interventions must be regularly delivered and fully embedded into the curriculum.
  • At secondary age, speech and language interventions must be regularly delivered and embedded into the curriculum.
  • Some will need a personalised / adapted curriculum and additional therapy programmes, including occupational therapy, to enable successful access to GCSEs / accredited courses and preparation for adulthood.


Will need modified environments with fewer distractions

Behaviour support

  • May need support to learn how to regulate their emotions and manage any anxiety or mental health needs.
  • Implementation of the Ealing Therapeutic Thinking Schools approach or a similar evidence-based approach.
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Last updated: 24 Jun 2024

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