Long Term Social Effects of Developmental Language Disorder

Jan 22, 2024

It is so important to be aware of the long term effects that developmental language disorder can pose on young people. Although it can be challenging to communicate this information to parents, it is critical that they know so they can provide their child with the best support.

Below are some points which have been extracted from clinical research.

‌Developmental Language Disorder doesn't disappear when a child goes to school. 

Research has found that, Developmental Language Disorder:

  • is often not identified in children
  • typically persist into adolescence and adulthood
  • can often be perceived by teachers and parents as being “naughty” and exhibit challenging behaviours and/or emotional problems.


Developmental Language Disorder can affect Social Participation

When compared with typically developing children, research has found that children with developmental language disorder can:

  • have fewer social connections and reduced participation in social activities.
  • be more likely to withdraw socially and have social difficulties.
  • converse less


Developmental Language Disorder can be associated with heightened risks of social anxiety

  • There is evidence to show that teens with developmental language disorder have higher rates of anxiety related to social interactions and social situations compared to typically developing peers.


Developmental Language disorder can affect academic and work outcomes

  • Early success at school and overall student outcomes are strong indicators of ongoing and future success.
  • Teenagers with developmental language disorder are at risk of poor academic progress and bullying and behaviour difficulties.

For many teens and some younger school aged children, developmental language disorder can be invisible and often masked. However, having developmental language disorder can have big, long-term effects on school, work, and social participation.

As a parent, being educated on this disorder and what it means is imperative. As a therapist, it is imperative to educate parents on these long terms effects.

If you would like more information on developmental language disorder, a wonderful resource to look up is The DLD Project

Also feel free to reach out via the contact form on our website for more information or support.

‌Main Reference:

Browlie, E.B., Bao, L., & Beitchman, J. (2016) Childhood Language Disorder and Social Anxiety in Early Adulthood. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 44, 1061-1070.

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