Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) – I’ll Help You Understand It

Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) – I’ll Help You Understand It

5 out of 5 based on 5 reviews


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By Amanda Hampshire & Susan Stewart

Illustrated by Debbie Mason

The book is for parents and practitioners. Each chapter explores a different aspect of communication which is challenging for children with DLD. Follow the journeys of Joseph, Annoop, Connor, Lakshmi and others to gain an insight into the daily challenges faced by children and young people with DLD and strategies to help them.

Each chapter concentrates on a specific topic and is explored in clear sections: 'Our Experiences', 'Information', 'Put yourself in their shoes' and 'Strategies'.

The topics covered are:

  • Understanding Language
  • Talking
  • Word learning
  • Social Skills
  • Sensory Issues
  • Memory
  • School and College
  • Explain to your child about DLD
  • Life Implications
  • People and organisations who can help.


‘Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) I’ll Help You Understand It’ written by two Speech and Language Therapists, Amanda Hampshire and Susan Stewart, is an accessible A5 sized book for parents to support their child. Each chapter covers different areas that a child or young person with DLD can present with including: understanding language, talking, word learning, social skills, sensory issues and memory. There are also chapters on School and College, Explaining to your child about DLD and Life Implications. Every chapter following the structure of: a case study, Information, ‘Put yourself in their shoes’, Strategies and Useful reading.

The case studies are from the authors’ own experience, such as ‘Joseph’ who finds understanding language challenging or ‘Anoop’ who struggles to translate his thoughts into words which impacts on his ability to share his thoughts and feelings. Parents are then provided with ‘information’, for example on Page 13, the authors discuss the complex process needed for talking, from having an initial idea and to feel motivated to talk to then being able to construct an idea using the correct grammar structure.

I really liked the ‘Put yourself in their shoes…’ section. It invites parents to feel what it might be like for their own child - a short passage is provided with a mix of upper and lower case letters and no spaces between words to show how hard it can be for their child to understand and process spoken language.

Every chapter also includes really clear and easy-to- follow strategies and practical ideas for parents to use with their child, such as visual supports like the Word Mat on Page 62 and Task Plan and Word Map on Page 63 as well as a Planner to support writing stories, Pages 77-78.

A key section of the book is Chapter 8 ‘Explaining to your child about DLD’ as the authors recognise the importance of promoting and developing children and young awareness of their DLD and self-advocacy skills. It discusses the terminology of the specific words of ‘developmental’, ‘language’ and ‘disorder’ and encourages parents to explore this in an open and sensitive way together with their child, helping them to describe their DLD, recognise their own strengths and help the them to identify their individual self-help strategies.

The Appendices contain really useful information on professionals who can help and great website links to organisations such as RADLD and AFASIC. Additional references, useful You Tube video links on Page 91 and legislation on Pages 102-103 is also included.

Although this book is primarily written for parents I could also see it being useful for the wider family, education staff and those leading extra-curricular activities, e.g. Brownies, Cubs, Scouts.

Thank you, Amanda and Susan – I have been hoping to find something like this for a while and will certainly be sharing it with the families, colleagues and education staff I work with.

Paula Price
BA (Hons), BSc (Hons), MRCSLT, HCPC-Registered Speech and Language Therapist, Advanced Specialist in Developmental Language Disorders (DLD)

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Sally Kedge, Talking Trouble Aoteaora NZ
8th September 2020

This small yet mighty book, written by two highly expereinced and specialised speech and language therapists provides practical information and ways to support children and young people that families and other professionals will find helpful. Excellent information, tips and resources to follow up are provided and the style is accessible, yet informative. Fantastic!

This review is for Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) – I’ll Help You Understand It - Paperback

Louise Laycock
23rd June 2020

This book is a fantastic resource, not only for the parents/carers/families of individuals with DLD, but it is really useful for a wide range of other people; teachers, SENCos, EY practitioners and speech and language therapists. We always recommend it to settings we work with and when delivering training. It is very well written and shares some interesting insights into what it is like to experience the difficulties associated with DLD.

This review is for Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) – I’ll Help You Understand It - Paperback

Shaun Ziegenfusz, Speech Language Pathologist, Gri
11th November 2019

Definitely a must read for parents!

This review is for Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) – I’ll Help You Understand It - Paperback

Heather Price
5th November 2019

This is a really easy read for parents of children with DLD (and practitioners too). Each chapter follows the same format with the focus being on the child’s perspective, the difficulties they might be experiencing and some simple strategies to help. A great resource for the price.

This review is for Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) – I’ll Help You Understand It - Paperback