Table of Contents
What is developmental delay?
The term Global Developmental Delay, or GDD, is used when a child shows delays across several areas of development, compared with children the same age. ‘Global’ refers to multiple areas being impaired (two or more of the areas mentioned below), and ‘delay’ refers to delays in meeting developmental milestones expected for their age. The delay does not imply permanent impairment, which is why early identification, and early intervention with therapy, are important.
The areas of child development that are assessed in GDD include:
- Speech and language development
- Gross motor development (walking, crawling)
- Fine motor development (holding toys, drawing)
- Cognition (understanding and learning)
- Social interaction and relating to others, and
- Emotional regulation
Signs and Symptoms of Developmental Delay:
There are many different signs and symptoms of delay that can exist in children and often vary depending upon specific characteristics. Sometimes you may see signs in infancy, but in other cases they may not be noticeable until your child reaches school age. Some of the most common symptoms can include:
- Learning and developing more slowly than other children same age
- Rolling over, sitting up, crawling, or walking much later than developmentally appropriate
- Difficulty communicating or socializing with others
- Lower than average scores on IQ tests
- Difficulties talking or talking late
- Having problems remembering things
- Inability to connect actions with consequences
- Difficulty with problem-solving or logical thinking
- Trouble learning in school
- Inability to do everyday tasks like getting dressed or using the restroom without help
Causes of Global Developmental Delay:
Because GDD is a general term and not a specific diagnosis, many different things can cause a child to experience a delay with this label. Sometimes, genetics can cause developmental delays. Other times, the environment can cause GDD, both before and after the child is born.4
GDD can begin before birth when caused by exposure to drugs or other toxic substances, premature birth, prenatal infections, or hemorrhages. Following birth, head traumas or certain infections such as meningitis can cause GDD. Finally, malnutrition, abuse, or physical neglect can cause a child to experience developmental delays.
What are the stigmas of people with disabilities?
Stereotyping – It is possible for people with disabilities to be thought of as being weak, incapable of taking care of themselves, or incapable of making their own decisions. It is possible for people to assume they have additional problems they don’t, such an intellectual disability, just because they have one, like a speech impediment.
Treatment for Global Developmental Disorder:
Sometimes, children outgrow developmental delays and catch up to their peers with minimal intervention. However, many benefit from treatments and services to help them reach their full potential.
Because “Global Developmental Disorder” is a general term for delays that can manifest in many different ways, providers determine the most appropriate interventions on a case-by-case basis.
Treatments that can help with GDDs include:
- behavioral therapy
- play therapy
- occupational therapy
- physical therapy
- speech therapy
Why is psychological treatment important?
Children’s basic cognitive abilities, educational abilities, behavior problems, and emotional problems are the main areas of attention for psychologists. The main goal is to better understand learning processes and identify strategies for assisting students of all ages in achieving improved academic outcomes. Therapy can help someone have a more positive outlook on life, relationships, and themselves. People can learn how to convey their feelings and better understand their own emotions with the aid of therapists.