Citation Law J, McCartney E & Roulstone S (2019) The United Kingdom. In: Law J, McKean C, Murphy C & Thordardottir E (eds.) Managing children with developmental language disorder: theory and practice across Europe and beyond. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 497-509. https://www.routledge.com/Managing-Children-with-Developmental-Language-Disorder-Theory-and-Practice/Law-McKean-Murphy-Thordardottir/p/book/9781138317246
Abstract First paragraph: The earliest references to developmental speech and language disorders (Wylie 1894; Kerr 1897) initially referred to it as ‘congenital word blindness’ (Hinshelwood 1895) ‘congenital semantic aphasia’ (Head, 1926), ‘aphasia in children’ (Ewing 1930) and ‘congenital auditory imperceptions/ word deafness’ (Worster Drought & Allen 1929). By the 1940s, the first schools for children with ‘developmental aphasia’ were starting to open. However, language disorder was not included in the UK 1944/45 Education Acts as a category of disability, although ‘speech defect’ was. By the nineteen sixties, there was a much greater awareness of a clinical ‘population’ (Renfrew & Murphy 1964; Ingram 1959) and a series of seminal texts were published (Rutter & Martin 1972; Yule & Rutter 1987). The focus was on symptom description and differential diagnosis although texts commonly included a chapter on speech and language therapy interventions. The terminology has continued to develop (Reilly et al. 2014). The terms currently recommended in the UK are Developmental Language Disorders (DLD), the consensus diagnostic term adopted by researchers and speech and language practitioners (Bishop et al. 2016) and Speech, Language and Communication Needs (SLCN), the educational category which includes any child with speech and language impairments.