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Global Development Delay(5 Posts)
My son has been diagnosed with this. What does it mean? Can it be treated? And what are involved in the genetics tests that come next? Any advice please.
What it means, is that he is delayed, compared with what his peers of the same age can do, across all areas of development - as opposed to perhaps just having speech difficulties, or just a physical difficulty but no delay with his cognition and learning skills, for example.
As to if it can be 'treated' if will depend on what you mean by treated. It will also depend what is causing it (hence the genetics testing being suggested).
So, in my authority, SaLTs (Speech and Language Therapists) will often not have much input into a child with a GDD, because actually their speech is in line with their overall development. Say, for example, they are 3 yrs old (36months) but currently functioning in a way you would typically expect from a child of 8 - 20months, then the child's cognition (understanding) isn't really ready for a 3 yr old's language. Does that make sense ?
Some children do 'catch up' - again, it depends on the reason they are delayed. GDD is a bit of a 'catch all' term, and includes dc whose delay might be due to them having been neglected for example. If they are then placed into a loving family / a great Nursery or CM, then, yes, then can catch up a lot, with additional support and attention. Some children are delayed because they were very prem, and actually wouldn't be seen as being 'behind' if you compared with their 'corrected age'. Some children have spent much of the first 2 years of their lofe in hospital, and haven't had the chance to run, to play and to experience all they would have in an ideal world.
Do the word 'delay' does suggest that, over time, they may well 'catch up', however, there are of course children with cognition and learning needs that don't catch up, and there are dc who fall further and further behind over time.
Not sure if this helps? It's difficult to know what you are looking for with only a little information.
That helps a lot thank you. My son has always been delayed across every area but got there in the end. He’s now started school and they want extra help for him which is where this diagnosis has come from.
They want to do genetic tests next. Is that a blood test? And if there is something in his genes, does that mean he won’t catch up?
He went to a great Nursery and we’ve always read to him and tried hard to get him caught up. He’s got there in the end, but always delayed.
Global Developmental Delay is probably best thought of as a placeholding diagnosis. In the broadest and simplest sense, when a child before age 5 misses developmental milestone ranges in multiple areas they can be diagnosed with Global Developmental Delay.
The reason it is a placeholder, is that at this age it is more or less impossible to test for any of the potential outcomes of this delay. The likelihood of learning difficulties is greatly increased, although it is not certain, but children this young can not access the tests which would lead to identification of difficulties. Standardisation of reliable tests tends to begin around age5, and even then the variation in children's development is so large that the tests are not often reliable on any given day.
So the GDD diagnosis is a clear signpost of difficulties to date, and an expectation that other difficulty(ies) will become more evident in future behaviours when the child is old enough for them to be identified. It allows for recognition that in identified areas the young person will need support above that which their peers require, which will hopefully narrow any gap which may have opened during the initial delay.
GDD is useful shorthand when dealing with health and education professionals but as others have said does not tell you much other than that they are delayed in more than one area. In my nephew's case he was classed as GDD at 18 months but this diagnosis was later removed (he was v sickly as an infant and this impeded his development). In my son's case it will probably change to learning disabilities when he is older).
My son had micro-array testing (blood test) and appointment with geneticist involved an examination and taking a detailed history. First tested about 3 years ago but still no understanding of what has caused GDD and other health problems.
I would recommend SWAN (Syndromes without a name for support)