UCL Psychology and Language Sciences


Adult DLD Assessment Service (ADAS)

The Adult DLD Assessment Service (ADAS) is a free clinic run by speech and language therapists, providing assessment and diagnosis for adults with suspected Developmental Language Disorder.

Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is a common, lifelong neurodevelopmental condition that affects how we learn and use language. A person with DLD may have difficulties with some or all of the following:

  • Learning and remembering words (vocabulary/word-finding difficulties)
  • Using correct grammar (e.g. tenses) and getting words in the right order in sentences
  • Using language appropriately for different situations
  • Understanding complex spoken or written information
  • Telling stories or explaining complicated events or procedures

These difficulties will occur in all the languages a person uses, not just English. Assessment and diagnosis can help a person understand their strengths and what they find difficult. It can support them ask for changes they need in work and education.

Who we work with

The ADAS is for adults aged 18 and over who believe they may have DLD; i.e., lifelong communication difficulties with no obvious reason or known cause.

We do not see people with the following, as these are different from DLD:

  • Acquired brain injury/stroke
  • Acquired epileptic aphasia in childhood
  • Autism
  • Dementia or progressive neurological conditions
  • Genetic conditions (including Down Syndrome)
  • Intellectual disability
  • Sensorineural hearing loss

We do not diagnose ADHD or dyslexia, though assessment will consider written language as well as spoken language. Referrals are open to individuals with dyslexia and/or ADHD who also find spoken communication difficult.

What we provide

You will be invited to clinic for an in-person appointment. This is likely to last 2-3 hours. Before the appointment, we may ask you to complete some questionnaires. During the session, the SLT will talk to you about the difficulties you have had and will carry out some language assessments with you. Following the session, they will write a report which explains your strengths, needs and any adjustments (changes) that might be helpful. If we think DLD fits your difficulties, this report will state the diagnosis of DLD and will explain what this is.

As this is currently an assessment and diagnosis service only, therapy is not provided at this time.  

Sessions will be on Wednesday mornings during UCL term time. At some points in the year, sessions may also be available on other days.

How to take part / how to make a referral

Please download the referral form below and email it to pals.adas@ucl.ac.uk. If you are having difficulties completing the form, or want to discuss a potential referral, you can email the clinic.


Clinic team

How to contact the clinic

Email: pals.adas@ucl.ac.uk

Additional information on DLD

Life as an adult with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) (youtube.com)

This video was made by a group of adults with DLD. They explain what it is like having DLD and how other people can help. 

RADLD - Raising Awareness of Developmental Language Disorder - RADLD 

This is the international advocacy website for DLD. It provides information on what DLD is.