Global Developmental Delay (GDD)

child is crawling and not able to walk due to developmental delay

Global Developmental Delay occurs in children who are unable to perform to match the level of his/her peer groups.

Children reach milestones by how they play, learn, speak, act, and move (crawling, walking, etc.). However, there are some children who does not achieve these on time.

What Are Developmental Delays in Young Children?

Some parents do not worry at all when they have a child who doesn’t smile on time, crawl when time is right, etc. Parents must be vigilant if their child does not perform tasks that other children does in different stages of life. Developmental milestones are skills such as, taking a first step, smiling for the first time, and waving “bye bye”. If we do not train them in performing those activities when they reach their appropriate age, the child will suffer.

This is a matter of concern. If the child is not growing at a normal pace parents should look into it. Otherwise they will fall behind. Ideally development falls under the below mentioned areas,

  • Social and emotional development
  • Speech and language development
  • Fine motor skills and cognitive development
  • Gross motor development

Follow this link to track your child’s developmental milestones. If your child does not meet the criterias that are equivalent to age, it may be that your child is suffering from Global Developmental Delay.

What causes Global Developmental Delay?

There is no exact reason for this but it is different from person to person.

  1. Children with down syndrome, cerebral palsy can develop this condition
  2. Pre-matured babies who suffer from various infections at birth
  3. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome – mother drinking during pregnancy
  4. Fragile X syndrome which is an inherited cognitive impairment can also lead to this.

Myths about Global Developmental Delay

Few parents give attention to children who have delays . Many think that it will fade with time but it is a myth. Others blame it on the surrounding of the child which is also not the case. Some believe that it will all work out when the child attends school. This is also a misconception.

Treatment for Global Developmental Delay

If a delay persists in a child, the child could lag behind physical and mental activities thrown his / her way. Delay in speech can result psychologically. Delay in motor activities such as walking can disable the child’s normal functions.This forces caregivers to keep carrying the child.

GDD or Global Developmental Delay can be treated if one identifies this earlier in a child. However, it is advised to see a professional as soon as you monitor any of the above. A speech therapist will be able to assist with developing the speech and language development of a child with Global Developmental Delay while a physiotherapist can help in fine tuning the physical aspects.

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