Deeble Evidence Brief No. 21: Developmental Language Disorder and the NDIS

Caroline Walker

Developmental language disorder (DLD) is diagnosed when a child has language difficulties that continue into school age and beyond. Children with DLD require early and targeted intervention support to reduce the risk (and related costs) of poor social, education, emotional and mental health outcomes.

However, it is difficult for Australian children with DLD to access the services that they need in a timely and effective manner. Many factors contribute towards this including poor awareness of DLD, inequitable and inaccessible health services and unclear navigation of health and disability services. Notably, children with DLD are being inconsistently excluded from NDIS funding support due to subjective assessment criteria, length waiting periods and unclear exclusion criteria.