Lloyd-Esenkaya, V.; Russell, A.J.; Clair, M.C.S. What Are the Peer Interaction Strengths and Difficulties in Children with Developmental Language Disorder? A Systematic Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 3140.
Aim of the paper:
This study looks at research measuring how of children with DLD play or interact with other children. We were interested to know how big the studies are, where in the world they are conducted, and who took part in the research (e.g. number of boys vs girls). We also wanted to know what the research has found out about the social skills of children with DLD.
What was found:
Between 1981 – 2018, 28 studies have looked at the social skills of English-speaking primary school children with DLD.
Most studies took place in America (61%) or the UK (25%). More boys than girls took part in the research.
Most studies which looked at the children’s overall social skills found higher levels of peer problems in children with DLD. However, every child is different! Not all children with DLD have difficulties socialising or making friends.
Sometimes researchers watch children while they are playing and record what they see. Many children with DLD have challenges joining in with their peers. They often wait for other children to invite them to play.
Unfortunately, children with DLD are more likely to be bullied than children without DLD.
What does this mean?
Social skills in children with DLD is under-researched. We need to do more studies with larger groups of children to be sure of the findings. Right now, it is difficult to identify key social interaction styles which will apply to lots of children with DLD.
Children with DLD are likely to need extra support for their social skills. We know social skills are important for mental wellbeing and doing well in school. Teachers need to help prevent children with DLD from being bullied.
This study has shown there are many areas we need to understand better. Why do so many children with DLD experience peer problems? Most studies of social skills have focused on children’s weaknesses, so what are their strengths?
Where can I read this paper?
This is an open access paper so anyone can read it. Click here for the full paper.