Young adults with DLD: managing finances

Winstanley, M., Durkin, K., Webb, R. T., & Conti-Ramsden, G. (2018). Financial capability and functional financial literacy in young adults with developmental language disorder. Autism & Developmental Language Impairments.

Aim of the paper:


It is known that many individuals with DLD struggle in reading, writing and maths. Since these abilities are important for making financial decisions, it is expected that many individuals with DLD will have difficulties managing their finances. This paper aims to test this expectation by looking at the financial capability, functional financial literacy and financial support of young adults (22-26 year olds) with and without DLD.

Financial capability: the ability to make appropriate financial decisions, such as managing money, planning ahead and using financial products.


Functional financial literacy: the ability to deal with everyday money transactions.

Financial support: the support gained from others for financial tasks.

What they found:


  • Young adults with DLD did not differ from their peers without DLD in how well they thought they could manage money and plan ahead.

  • Young adults with DLD had less engagement with financial products and poorer functional financial literacy compared to their peers without DLD.


  • Young adults with DLD were more likely to obtain support with many financial tasks, such as paying bills and getting loans, compared to their peers without DLD. Most support, in both groups, came from parents.


  • Skills in numeracy were associated with functional financial literacy in both groups. Skills in reading, language and non-verbal intelligence were also associated with functional financial literacy in young adults with DLD.


What does this mean?


Individuals with DLD are not excluded from the financial world. However, they might find it challenging to manage their finances because they have greater difficulties in engaging with financial products, functional financial literacy, and managing their finances independently. This means that young adults with DLD may require assistance, such as family support, to manage their finances.


This study also finds that numeracy skills are associated with the ability to deal with everyday money transactions. This means that poor numeracy skills may have a negative impact on more than just academic performance and could affect day-to-day adult life for individuals with DLD.

Where can I read this paper?


This paper is open access, which means everyone can read it.

Please click here to find the full paper.