Global Developmental Delay, or GDD, is an umbrella term used when children are significantly delayed in at least two milestone categories across motor skills, speech, cognitive skills, and social and emotional development.
Children with Global Developmental Delay typically take longer to acquire new skills in their early years and may lack the foundational skills required to learn. They will often need additional support in educational settings and in the home to help them catch up to their age-equivalent peers.
Early intervention is critical to get the best outcomes, as the brain’s ability to change and adapt is at its greatest during the younger years of a child’s life.
Signs and symptoms of Global Developmental Delay
Here are some of the signs and symptoms of GDD that our clinicians recommend looking out for in your child.
- Limited ability to understand and retain information
- Trouble problem solving and navigating their environment through movement
- Difficulty with interpreting social cues and interacting with peers of the same age
- Unable to gain personal independence and self-care skills
The combination and degree of delays will have different impacts on how a child and their family can function, and how much support they may require. Motor development is often the first area of delay noticed by parents/caregivers, which will then be followed by standardised testing to score a child’s movement, communication, play, and their behaviours compared with those of other children of the same age.
Each child will be impacted in a different way, which is why it is so important to do a comprehensive assessment to find out where their current set of skills are at, as well as their strengths and weaknesses.
What to do next
As an approved NDIS early intervention childhood partner, we are pleased to offer a range of supports to children aged 0-6 years with developmental delays.