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Autism & Developmental Language Impairments

eISSN: 23969415 | ISSN: 23969415 | Current volume: 8 | Current issue: 1 Frequency: Yearly

Autism and Developmental Language Impairments (ADLI) is a peer reviewed open access journal which focusses on helping shape research in the growing field of developmental communication disorders. The journal is not solely focused on autism and specific language impairment and welcomes submissions across a wide range of topics within atypical language development. Please see the Aims and Scope tab for further information.

This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE).

Why publish in Autism and Developmental Language Impairments?

  • More specific topic base than other language and communication journals ensuring maximum efficiency for dissemination to those working with developmental issues
  • Rigorous peer review of your scholarly work by a renowned editorial board
  • Join a list of prestigious authors who have published in this journal
  • Open access format: Driving high visibility and global dissemination
  • Inclusion in Web of Science’s Emerging Sources Citation Index and Scopus

Open access article processing charge (APC) information

The current APC for the journal is 1,000 USD, discounted from the total cost of 2,000 USD.

If you would like your article to be published in Autism and Developmental Language impairments but you do not have grant funding to cover the publication costs or genuinely cannot raise the funds to cover the APC, the corresponding author should email to discuss the situation.

More information on discount and waiver requests can be found here.

*The article processing charge (APC) is payable when a manuscript is accepted after peer review, before it is published. The APC is subject to taxes where applicable. Please see further details here.

Submission information

Submit your manuscript today at

Please see the submission guidelines tab for more information on how to submit your article to the journal.


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Sites of interest


Autism & Developmental Language Impairments (ADLI) is an international, open access, peer-reviewed, online-only journal providing rapid publication that aims to support and help shape research in the growing field of developmental communication disorders. The journal is not solely focused on autism and specific language impairment and welcomes submissions across a wide range of topics within atypical language development.

Aims and mission: Its mission is to provide an online, open access platform for traditional empirical analyses and theoretical contributions. Quantitative and qualitative methodologies are considered and the journal covers all areas of atypical language development, as well as related difficulties/interventions/outcomes for individuals with developmental communication difficulties. ADLI acts as a forum for the dissemination and exchange of information among the large number of developmental communication disorder researchers and professionals across the globe.

As part of this mission, ADLI has an inclusive publishing strategy. We also aim to have a fast processing time for papers and have a target average turn-around time from submission to first decision of one month.

Topics across a range of disorders could include:

• aspects of communication within different populations, diagnostic issues, quality of life, intervention, computational modelling and brain measurement of developmental communicative functions; outcomes in adolescence/adulthood of individuals who have grown up with developmental communication difficulties
• genetic, neurobiological and cognitive mechanisms underlying atypical language.

We are particularly interested in:

• articles that have a practical application combined with high scientific rigour

• papers that directly compare across disorders; articles that involve teachers/educational staff

• publishing systematic reviews in the field of language impairments and in the area of autism.

ADLI will not accept papers that are solely on speech disorders or stuttering/stammering; that are about bilingualism per se; that address acquired language difficulties; where the topic is about typical language development / linguistics with no obvious reference to disorder; or those that do not have appropriate local ethical approval.

Nicola Botting City, University of London, UK
Associate Editors
Hannah Hobson University of York, UK
Aaron Shield Miami University, USA
Past Editors
Allison Bean Ohio State University, USA
Patricia Eadie Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne
David Williams University of Kent, UK
International Editorial Board
Mark Boyes Curtin University, Australia
Dorothy Bishop University of Oxford, UK
Tony Charman Institute of Psychiatry, UK
Shula Chiat City University London, UK
Inge-Marie Eigsti University of Connecticut, USA
Marc Fey University of Kansas, USA
Kristina Hasson Lund University Hospital, Sweden
Lucy Henry City University London, UK
Brooke Ingersoll Michigan State University, USA
Kristine Jensen de Lopez Aalborg University, Denmark
Connie Kasari UCLA, USA
Meng-Chuan Lai University of Toronto, Canada
Tom Loucas University of Reading, UK
Chloe Marshall UCL Institute of Education, University College London, UK
David Messer Open University, UK
Sarah Parsons University of Southampton, UK
Liz Pellicano University College London, UK
Michael Siller Emory University, USA
Vicky Slonims Evelina London Children's Hospital, UK
Maggie Snowling Univeristy of Oxford, UK
Helen Tager-Flusberg Boston University, USA
Bruce Tomblin University of Iowa, USA
Linda Watson UNC, USA
Susan Ellis Weismer University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Amy Wetherby Florida State University, USA
Andrew Whitehouse Telethon Kids Institute, Australia
  • Clarivate Analytics: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI)
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
  • ERIC (Education Resources Information Center)
  • ProQuest
  • PsycINFO
  • PubMed Central (PMC)
  • Scopus

This Journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics

Please read the guidelines below then visit the journal’s submission site to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Autism and Developmental Language Impairments will be reviewed.

As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere. Please see our guidelines on prior publication and note that Autism and Developmental Language Impairments may accept submissions of papers that have been posted on pre-print servers; please alert the Editorial Office when submitting (contact details are at the end of these guidelines) and include the DOI for the preprint in the designated field in the manuscript submission system. Authors should not post an updated version of their paper on the preprint server while it is being peer reviewed for possible publication in the journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the author may re-use their work according to the journal's author archiving policy. If your paper is accepted, you must include a link on your preprint to the final version of your paper.

If you have any questions about publishing with Sage, please visit the Sage Journal Solutions Portal

  1. Open Access
  2. Article processing charge (APC)
  3. Article Types
  4. Editorial policies
    4.1 Peer Review Policy
    4.2 Authorship
    4.3 Acknowledgements
    4.4 Funding
    4.5 Declaration of conflicting interests
    4.6 Data
  5. Publishing policies
    5.1 Publication ethics
    5.2 Contributor's publishing agreement
  6. Preparing your manuscript
    6.1 Formatting
    6.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics
    6.3 Supplemental material
    6.4 Reference style
    6.5 English language editing services
  7. Manuscript components
  8. Submitting your manuscript
    8.1 ORCID
    8.2 Information required for completing your submission
    8.3 Corresponding author contact details
    8.4 Permissions
  9. On acceptance and publication
    9.1 Sage Production
    9.2 Continuous publication
    9.3 Promoting your article
  10. Further information

Please read the guidelines below then visit the journal’s submission site to upload your manuscript. Please note that manuscripts not conforming to these guidelines may be returned.

Only manuscripts of sufficient quality that meet the aims and scope of Autism & Developmental Language Impairments will be reviewed.

As part of the submission process you will be required to warrant that you are submitting your original work, that you have the rights in the work, that you are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal and that it is not being considered for publication elsewhere and has not already been published elsewhere, and that you have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by you

1. Open Access

Autism & Developmental Language Impairments is an open access, peer-reviewed journal. Each article accepted by peer review is made freely available online immediately upon publication, is published under a Creative Commons license and will be hosted online in perpetuity. Publication costs of the journal are covered by the collection of article processing charges which are paid by the funder, institution or author of each manuscript upon acceptance. There is no charge for submitting a paper to the journal.

For general information on open access at Sage please visit the Open Access page or view our Open Access FAQs.

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2. Article processing charge (APC)

ADLI is an Open Access publication; all articles are freely available online immediately upon publication. All articles are rigorously peer-reviewed, and brought to publication as rapidly as possible. The costs of peer-review and production are covered by Article Processing Charges (APC) paid by the author/institution/funder upon acceptance of the manuscript.

The current APC for the journal is 1,000 USD, discounted from the total cost of 2,000 USD.

Autism and Developmental Language Impairments

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3. Article types

Research Reports: a full report of a research study using appropriate quantitative or qualitative methods. Maximum length 8000 words. Authors of articles over this length should consult with the editor before submitting.

Reviews: a systematic or systematically-conducted review of theoretical or clinical topics or issues that entails a critique of current research or addresses significant issues or takes a novel and interesting view. Maximum length 10,000 words.

Short Reports: a short paper reporting some preliminary or interesting results from a well-conducted study or a small scale study that is useful but not conclusive. Maximum length 5000 words.

Theoretical Reports: an exposition or critique of particular theory or theories relevant to autism and/or developmental language impairments, with new and original insights.  Maximum length 8000 words.

Discussions: a relatively short discussion of theoretically or clinically relevant topics or issues. Commissioned by the editor(s) only.  Maximum 4000 words.

Registered Reports, Pre-Data or Post-Data:  There are two types of Registered Reports:  

  • Registered Reports – Pre-Data, i.e., before any data have been gathered
  • Registered Reports – Post-Data, i.e., before already existing data have been examined and analysed.   

These submissions are reviewed in two stages. In Stage 1, a study proposal is considered for publication prior to data collection and/or analysis. Stage 1 submissions should include a complete Introduction, Methods, and Proposed Analyses. High-quality proposals will be accepted in principle before data collection and/or data analysis commences. Once the study is completed, the author will finish the article including Results and Discussion sections (Stage 2). Publication of the Stage 2 submission is guaranteed as long as the approved Stage 1 protocol is followed and the conclusions are appropriate. Full details can be found here. The Journal’s manuscript requirements should be adhered to for the stage 2 submission.

3.1 Special Collections

You can submit your paper to one of the following special collections:
- Comorbidity in autism spectrum disorder and developmental language impairments. See the call for papers here
- Gesture Development and Use in Individuals with Autism and Developmental Language Impairments. See the call for papers here
- The Relationship between Motor Development and Language Development in Individuals with Autism and Developmental Language Impairments. See the call for papers here

From 2024, the Special Collections peer review process is handled by the journal’s Editor, and is in line with the journal’s standard practise and

The Editor maintains oversight of the Special Collection and has final say on manuscript decisions. Special Collections prior to 2024 may have had Guest Editors or may have been selected by the Editors in Chief. This will be noted on each Special Collections page. Pre 2024, where there were Guest Editors in place for a Special Collection, the peer review process was handled by the Guest Editors in the Sage Track system, with oversight and guidance of the Editors in Chief. Proposals for Special Collections can be sent to All Special Collections manuscripts should be prepared in conformity with the journal’s submission guidelines:

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4. Editorial policies

4.1 Peer review policy

The journal’s policy is to have manuscripts reviewed by two expert reviewers. Autism & Developmental Language Impairments utilizes a double-anonymize peer review process in which the reviewer and author’s names and information are withheld from the other. Reviewers may at their own discretion opt to reveal their names to the author in their review but our standard policy practice is for their identities to remain concealed. All manuscripts are reviewed as rapidly as possible, while maintaining rigor. Reviewers make comments to the author and recommendations to the Editor who then makes the final decision.

4.2 Authorship

All parties who have made a substantive contribution to the article should be listed as authors. Principal authorship, authorship order, and other publication credits should be based on the relative scientific or professional contributions of the individuals involved, regardless of their status. A student is usually listed as principal author on any multiple-authored publication that substantially derives from the student’s dissertation or thesis.

Please note that AI chatbots, for example ChatGPT, should not be listed as authors. For more information see the policy on Use of ChatGPT and generative AI tools.

4.3 Acknowledgements

All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in an Acknowledgements section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, or a department chair who provided only general support.

Please supply any personal acknowledgements separately to the main text to facilitate anonymous peer review.

4.3.1 Third party submissions

Where an individual who is not listed as an author submits a manuscript on behalf of the author(s), a statement must be included in the Acknowledgements section of the manuscript and in the accompanying cover letter. The statements must:

•    Disclose this type of editorial assistance – including the individual’s name, company and level of input 
•    Identify any entities that paid for this assistance 
•    Confirm that the listed authors have authorized the submission of their manuscript via third party and approved any statements or declarations, e.g. conflicting interests, funding, etc.

Where appropriate, Sage reserves the right to deny consideration to manuscripts submitted by a third party rather than by the authors themselves.

4.4 Funding

Autism & Developmental Language Impairments requires all authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading.  Please visit the Funding Acknowledgements page on the Sage Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding, or state that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors

4.5 Declaration of conflicting interests

It is the policy of Autism & Developmental Language Impairments to require a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles.

Please ensure that a ‘Declaration of Conflicting Interests’ statement is included at the end of your manuscript, after any acknowledgements and prior to the references. If no conflict exists, please state that ‘The Author(s) declare(s) that there is no conflict of interest’.

For guidance on conflict of interest statements, please see the ICMJE recommendations.

4.6 Research Data

The journal is committed to facilitating openness, transparency and reproducibility of research, and has the following research data sharing policy. For more information, including FAQs please visit the Sage Research Data policy pages.

Subject to appropriate ethical and legal considerations, authors are encouraged to:

  • share your research data in a relevant public data repository
  • include a data availability statement linking to your data. If it is not possible to share your data, we encourage you to consider using the statement to explain why it cannot be shared.
  • cite this data in your research

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5. Publishing policies

5.1 Publication ethics

Autism & Developmental Language Impairments is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics. Sage is committed to upholding the integrity of the academic record. We encourage authors to refer to the Committee on Publication Ethics’ International Standards for Authors and view the Publication Ethics page on the Sage Author Gateway.

5.1.1 Plagiarism

Autism & Developmental Language Impairments and Sage take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of published articles. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked with duplication-checking software. Where an article, for example, is found to have plagiarized other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where the authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article; taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author's institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; or taking appropriate legal action.

5.1.2 Prior publication

If material has been previously published, it is not generally acceptable for publication in a Sage journal. However, there are certain circumstances where previously published material can be considered for publication. Please refer to the guidance on the Sage Author Gateway or if in doubt, contact the Editor at the address given below.

5.2 Contributor's publishing agreement

Before publication Sage requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement.  Autism & Developmental Language Impairments publishes manuscripts under Creative Commons licenses. The standard  license for the journal is Creative Commons by Attribution Non-Commercial (CC BY-NC), which allows others to re-use the work without permission as long as the work is properly referenced and the use is non-commercial. For more information, you are advised to visit Sage's OA licenses page.

Alternative license arrangements are available, for example, to meet particular funder mandates, made at the author’s request

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6. Preparing your manuscript

6.1 Word processing formats

Manuscripts must be written in English and in APA format.

Text should be supplied in a format compatible with Microsoft Word for Windows (PC). Preferred formats for the text and tables of your manuscript are Word DOC, RTF, XLS. LaTeX files are also accepted. Word and (La)Tex templates are available on the Manuscript Submission Guidelines page of our Author Gateway.

Charts and tables are considered textual and should also be supplied in a format compatible with Word. All other figures––illustrations, diagrams, photographs––should be supplied in jpg format.

For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit Sage’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.

All manuscripts must be typed in 12pt font and in double space with margins of at least 2.5 cm.           

Please also note the following:

  • Please write clearly and concisely, stating your objectives clearly and defining your terms. Your arguments should be substantiated with well-reasoned supporting evidence.
  • In writing your paper, you are encouraged to review articles in the area you are addressing which have been previously published to enhance context, coherence, and continuity for readers.
  • For all manuscripts, gender-, race-, and creed-inclusive language is mandatory.
  • Ethical statement: submissions to the Journal are required to have followed the procedures in force in their countries which govern the ethics of work done with human subjects. The Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki) represents a minimal requirement. Research manuscripts all need to address ethics and consent in the text.

Phonetic Symbols
To ensure that phonetic fonts convert to pdf correctly, use the font DoulosSIL. This can be downloaded free of charge from Fonts must also be embedded. To do this click Tools from the top menu bar, go to Options and select the Save tab. Tick the box to ‘Embed TrueType Fonts’ and click OK.

Word limits
It is recommended that authors follow the word limit guides in ‘Publication types’ above. Word limits include all main body text but not title, abstract, keywords or references.

6.2 Artwork, figures and other graphics

For guidance on the preparation of illustrations, pictures and graphs in electronic format, please visit Sage’s Manuscript Submission Guidelines.

Figures supplied in color will appear in color online

6.3 Supplemental material

This journal is able to host additional materials online (e.g. datasets, podcasts, videos, images etc) alongside the full-text of the article. For more information please refer to our guidelines on submitting supplementary files.

6.4 Reference style

Autism & Developmental Language Impairments adheres to the APA reference style. Please review the guidelines on APA to ensure your manuscript conforms to this reference style.

6.5 English language editing services

Authors seeking assistance with English language editing, translation, or figure and manuscript formatting to fit the journal’s specifications should consider using Sage Language Services. Visit Sage Language Services on our Journal Author Gateway for further information.

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8. Manuscript components

Manuscripts must include:

Title Page: This should contain the article title, a running head not exceeding 50 characters (including spaces), 3–5 keywords and full contact details of the authors (including emails).

Declaration of Interest: All authors should state whether they have any conflicting interests with their findings, whether financial or professional.

Structured Abstracts: Authors submitting papers should note that structured abstracts (up to 500 words)    are required for all papers. Please do not include references in the abstract. There is good evidence that structured abstracts are clearer for readers and facilitate better appropriate indexing and citation of papers. The essential features of the structured abstract are given below. For all papers, clinical implications should be clearly stated. Headings as follows should be included in the text, as section markers:

Abstract headings for Research Reports & Short Reports: Background & aims, methods, results, conclusions, implications.

Abstract headings for Reviews, Theoretical papers and Discussions:  Background & aims, (methods where applicable), main contribution, conclusions, implications.

Subheadings for main body: The paper itself should usually be divided into sections with the headings: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Summary and/or Conclusion(s).

Tables and Figures: Tables and figures should be referred to in text as follows: figure 1, table 1. The place   at which a table or figure is to be inserted in the printed text should be indicated clearly on the manuscript (e.g., [table 1 about here]). Each table and/or figure must have a legend that explains its purpose without reference to the text. Each table and/or figure must be placed on a separate page at the end of the document (following the references) and should have a legend that explains its purpose without reference to the text.

Artwork submitted for publication will not be returned and will be destroyed after publication, unless otherwise requested.

Colour figures: As an online only journal, ADLI will publish any figure submitted as a colour original as a colour figure in the article.

References: ADLI uses the APA system to indicate references in the text, tables and legends. The full references should be listed alphabetically, and presented following the text of the manuscript.

8. Submitting your manuscript

Autism & Developmental Language Impairments is hosted on Sage Track, a web based online submission and peer review system powered by ScholarOne™ Manuscripts. Visit to login and submit your article online.

IMPORTANT: Please check whether you already have an account in the system before trying to create a new one. If you have reviewed or authored for the journal in the past year it is likely that you will have had an account created.  For further guidance on submitting your manuscript online please visit ScholarOne Online Help


As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID. ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized.

The collection of ORCID iDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If you already have an ORCID iD you will be asked to associate that to your submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do: click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Your ORCID iD will become part of your accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable to you and only you. Your ORCID iD is published with your article so that fellow researchers reading your work can link to your ORCID profile and from there link to your other publications.

If you do not already have an ORCID iD please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

8.2 Informtion required for completing your submission

You will be asked to provide contact details and academic affiliations for all co-authors via the submission system and identify who is to be the corresponding author. These details must match what appears on your manuscript. The affiliation listed in the manuscript should be the institution where the research was conducted. If an author has moved to a new institution since completing the research, the new affiliation can be included in a manuscript note at the end of the paper. At this stage please ensure you have included all the required statements and declarations and uploaded any additional supplementary files (including reporting guidelines where relevant).

8.3 Corresponding author contact details

Provide full contact details for the corresponding author including email, mailing address and telephone numbers. Academic affiliations are required for all co-authors. These details should be presented separately to the main text of the article to facilitate anonymous peer review.

8.4 Permissions

Please also ensure that you have obtained any necessary permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. For further information including guidance on fair dealing for criticism and review, please see the Copyright and Permissions page on the Sage Author Gateway.

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9. On acceptance and publication

If your paper is accepted for publication after peer review, you will first be asked to complete the contributor’s publishing agreement. Once your manuscript files have been check for Sage Production, the corresponding author will be asked to pay the article processing charge (APC) via a payment link. Once the APC has been processed, your article will be prepared for publication and can appear online within an average of 20 working days. Please note that no production work will occur on your paper until the APC has been received.

9.1 Sage Production

Your Sage Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be made available to the corresponding author via our editing portal Sage Edit or by email, and corrections should be made directly or notified to us promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate. 

9.2 Online publication

One of the many benefits of publishing your research in an open access journal is the speed to publication. With no page count constraints, your article will be published online in a fully citable form with a DOI number as soon as it has completed the production process. At this time it will be completely free to view and download for all.

9.3 Promoting your article

Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The Sage Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice.

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10. Further information

Any correspondence, queries or additional requests for information on the manuscript submission process should be sent to the Autism & Developmental Language Impairments editorial office as follows:

Professor Nicola Botting
City University London
School of Health Sciences
Northampton Square
London, EC1V 0HB


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