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Speech Therapy | Developmental Language Disorder at Total Communication



Using language is a skill that allows us to share our ideas and feelings - to learn effectively in school and to understand the world around us. Unfortunately, people diagnosed with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) struggle with these aspects on a daily basis.

Developmental language disorder, or DLD for short, is a hidden but very common condition that means a child has difficulty using and/or understanding language. Children with Developmental language disorder have language abilities that fall behind those of other children of their age, even though they are just as smart. Having trouble with language means that children with DLD may have difficulty socializing with their classmates, talking about how they feel, and learning in school (Norbury, Gooch, Wray, Baird, Charman and Simonoff, 2016).

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If your class at school was made up of 28 students, there would be about two students in your class with DLD. It is a life-long condition. Even though DLD is usually first discovered and treated in childhood, it usually does not go away as a child grows up.

Norbury, C. F., Gooch, D., Wray, C., Baird, G., Charman, T., Simonoff, E., et al. 2016. The impact of nonverbal ability on prevalence and clinical presentation of language disorder: evidence from a population study. J. Child Psychol.


Psychiatry 57:1247–57. doi: 10.1111/jcpp.12573



It affects approximately 7% of the population (more common than Autism and ADHD).

Affects Boys

It affects more boys than girls.

There is no known cause.

What can help?

It is a lifelong condition but therapy (intervention) can help.


It is difficult with talking and/or understanding and affects learning, confidence, and socializing.

DLD and its effects on learning in school

Developmental language disorder has often been linked to being a main contributing factor to language problems. Children with DLD often show poor performances at school because of their oral language difficulties.  They have a hard time using language, understanding, and making meaning to what teachers or classmates are saying.

Developmental Language Disorder and its effects on learning in school

Children with DLD are also more likely to have reading disabilities than other children. This would, hence, limit their ability to acquire the content required for reading. They would struggle with reading individual words and interpreting the meaning from texts.

Developmental Language Disorder's reading disabilities

DLD also affect a child’s ability to respond to math problem-solving questions as it requires them to make good interpretation and sense of what the question is asking and what would be the best solution for it.

Developmental Language Disorder's treatment in Singapore

Ways to support your child to better progress in school

As the saying goes, “When there is a will, there is a way.” Hence, with the right support children too CAN succeed in school. This support would have to first come with a comprehensive language assessment administered by speech and language therapists. This is to help understand the child better and in identifying areas to be developed by curating a suitable individualized plan. It is important to know that support from professionals, like speech-language therapists, educational therapists and teachers, can make a huge difference in the lives of children with Developmental language disorders.

More ways to help support:

  1. Make language more accessible by making clear, explicit statements. Instead of saying ‘You need to be ready for school’, you could say ‘Time is up! The bus has arrived. You need to change into your uniform with your bags and get to the bus now.

  2. Repeat and rephrase key instructions in short and simple sentences for easy comprehension.

  3. Use multimodal support to convey messages. This can be aided with visual cues/ planners, charts, posters, etc.

DLD children require many repetitions and opportunities to practice. Hence, consistent and well-planned instructions can help make a positive impact on their language. Through co-teaching, educators and therapists can create a rich environment with positive effects on children with DLD.

  • 1. What are the roles of speech therapists in Singapore?
    Speech therapy in Singapore plays a crucial role in addressing speech and language difficulties for individuals. Trained and qualified speech therapists assess, diagnose, and create personalized treatment plans to help improve communication skills for people of all ages. Total Communication's team of experienced speech therapists is dedicated to providing the best possible care and support to children to achieve their communication goals. By choosing Total Communication, you can trust that you're receiving top-notch speech therapy services and solutions Check Total Communication’s website:
  • 2. What is the main purpose of speech and language therapy Singapore?
    At Total Communication, we specialize in providing speech and language therapy services to individuals in Singapore. Our goal is to help individuals overcome any challenges they may face with their communication skills. Our therapy services include improving speech and language development for children, overcoming speech and language difficulties, and supporting individuals who are learning English as a second language. We strive to provide effective and personalized therapy solutions to meet the unique needs of every client.
  • 3. How to find Best Speech Therapist in Singapore?
    To find the best speech therapist, it's crucial to do your due diligence and research their experience, reputation, and qualifications. We encourage you to read online reviews, ask for recommendations from friends and family, and even consult with medical professionals. But why waste time and effort searching when you can directly turn to the best? At Total Communication, our therapists are dedicated to helping individuals of all ages overcome any challenges they may have with their speech and language development. Our focus on providing personalized support has resulted in numerous successful outcomes for our clients. And with a commitment to keeping our fees affordable, you can rest assured that you'll receive the best value for your investment. So why wait? Take the first step towards better communication by reaching out to us at Total Communication today!
  • 4. What is the role of a Speech Pathologist?
    A Speech-language Pathologist is a highly trained and knowledgeable healthcare practitioner that specializes in improving communication abilities in individuals of every age group. These professionals have a thorough grasp of speech, language, fluency, and voice disorders, as well as the abilities and competence required to diagnose and treat such conditions. Our committed team of Speech-language Pathologists at Total Communication not only assesses and treats communication disorders but also gives significant education and counseling to both our clients and their families, establishing a supportive atmosphere that fosters development and improvement. Our speech-language pathologists work with a lot of schools in Singapore. With the knowledge and dedication to excellence, our Speech Pathologists are well-equipped to assist clients in overcoming any communication barriers.


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