Speech & Language Link are in support of the new vision for Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) for the UK

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24 October 2023

Speech and Language Link

We welcome the launch of the new vision for DLD, in particular, its focus on the views  of those with DLD and the world they would like to see: A-Vision-for-Developmental-Language-Disorder.pdf (rcslt.org)

We applaud the work of AFASIC, NAPLIC, RSCLT, Speech and Language UK and UCL in curating this vision.

For twenty years, Speech & Language Link has provided practical help for schools to identify and support children and young people with speech and language needs.  This includes standardised screening tools and evidenced interventions that schools can use. Each year, UK schools carry out 240,000 Speech & Language Link assessments. Using these screening tools, schools can identify pupils who they can support directly and those who would be best supported by a speech and language therapist. Many of the latter group have DLD.

In addition to the suite of tools that we provide, we focus on raising awareness of DLD and other speech and language needs, especially in schools. Each term we research, edit, print and publish The Link magazine and send this free of charge to every UK primary and secondary school. The Link contains articles about DLD, speech and language needs and closely related topics.

We, at Speech & Language Link, offer our support to the key ambitions highlighted in the Vision for DLD through:

  • regarding ambition 1. EVERYONE KNOWS ABOUT DLD, Speech & Language Link contributes our existing and developing communication platforms to raising awareness of DLD and aims to add our views to policy, research and campaigning that supports awareness of this group of people and their particular needs.
  • regarding ambition 2. WE ACCESS SUPPORT EASILY, Speech & Language Link offers school-delivered standardised assessment tools and interventions to help ensure that pupils with DLD can access the right support at the right time. One of the mechanisms for achieving this is ensuring that speech and language therapy services are not overwhelmed by supporting children and young people whose needs can be managed in schools.
  • regarding ambition 3. WE ARE DIAGNOSED EARLY, Speech & Language Link offers standardised assessment tools delivered through schools. We recommend screening of all pupils at the beginning of each key educational stage.  Our CPD offer also aims to prompt questions to school staff about underlying needs such as DLD.
  • regarding ambition 4. ALL SCHOOLS AND WORKPLACES MEET OUR NEEDS, Speech & Language Link offers a whole school approach which provides assessment, intervention, training/CPD and support.

Our aim through the Speech & Language Link offer to all schools is to create a situation where people with DLD have early diagnosis and support, contributing to ambition 5. WE ARE INDEPENDENT.

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