Father and baby playing
Father and baby playing

TOS-Fonds (Taalontwikkelingsstoornissen)

2022 until 2032
Project member(s)
Prof. J.P.M. Fikkert (Paula) , Levelt, C. (Claartje) (Leiden University)
Project type

A Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is a neurocognitive developmental disorder. Language processing in the brains of children with a DLD is less adequate than in control children (https://www.kentalis.nl/tos). Developmental language disorders are typically discovered fairly late. In the Netherlands, a substantial groups of children (between 5-7%) receive the diagnosis (at risk of) Developmental Language Disorder after age three. That is unfortunate, particularly because the first 1000 days are so critical for (language) development.

This fund wants to stimulate research to answer the following questions:

  • Is it possible to detect the emerging developmental language disorder in the first years of a child using techniques available to researchers in Baby Research Centers (like the BRC in Nijmegen) investigating early speech perception and production?
  • Do children with a DLD (and their parents) pay less attention to language and speech during experiments and in spontaneous parent-child interactions in the first years?
  • Do children show different patterns in phonological development, word recognition, word understanding, word formation, lexical acces and early lexical production? If so, are these reliable indicators for an underlying developmental language disorder?
  • Do cognitive neuroscientific measures in the brain provide insight into differences between children with a (risk of) DLD and control children?

The DLD-fund supports scientific research into discovering early predictors for Developmental Language Disorders, and ultimately develop methods to supports language development in children with DLD.


  • Kino Jansionius
  • Leiden University