What is Global Developmental Delay?

Global Developmental Delay (GDD) can affect anyone, regardless of race, gender, or socioeconomic status. It affects the major areas of the development of a child, in which they have trouble with communication and skills.

It is a generally used to describe any delay between birth and 18 years old.

There are many possible causes of GDD, including:

  • Premature birth
  • Chromosomal condition such as Fragile X
  • Metabolic conditions – thyroid function
  • Vision or hearing loss
  • Speech and language difficulties
  • Injuries or infections of the brain such as head injury or meningitis

What are the signs or symptoms that a child can have for Global Developmental Delay?

There are five areas as a parent you will want to watch out for, and if you are unsure, seek the opinion of a professional healthcare specialist or paediatrician.

Compared to their peers, are they experiencing the following:

  1. Cognitive:
    • Difficulty with problem-solving or logical thinking
    • Difficulty remembering information
    • Poor attention and concentration
  2. Motor skills:
    • Trouble with everyday movement such as crawling, walking, jumping, or balancing
    • Difficulty grasping and holding onto objects, using utensils, or manipulating small items
    • Poor coordination and clumsiness
  3. Language:
    • Difficulty in speech and pronunciations
    • Limited vocabulary compared to peers
    • Difficulty understanding spoken language or following directions
    • Problems with pronunciation or articulation
  4. Social-emotional:
    • Difficulty forming or maintaining relationships with their peers
    • Trouble understanding and expressing emotions appropriately
    • Challenges with social skills, such as making eye contact or taking turns
    • Behavioral problems, including aggression, withdrawal, or tantrums
  5. Adaptive functioning:
    • Delays in self-help skills, such as dressing, feeding, or toileting
    • Difficulty adapting to new situations or environments
    • Struggles with daily routines and following schedules