Global Development Delay (GDD) is the catchall term that involves conditions that occur during the developmental period of a child’s life, from birth to age 18. These developmental delays can significantly affect that child’s life as they grow into adulthood, as they can impact not only quality of life, but the chances that the child has to live a fully normal and accessible life as an adult.
These delays are typically characterized by the lowering of typical intellectual and life skills functions, from speaking and walking to social interaction and ability in school, and they can create significant limitations that can severely affect a child’s life to the point of damaging their future outlook and chances to succeed.
The causes of GDD’s are varied relative to the delay, but they ultimately negatively affect the nervous system and can create trauma in the brain and elsewhere for the children involved. These traumas include issues to the central nervous system, fetal alcohol syndrome, genetic disorders, metabolic disorders, and a host of other problems.
GDD disorders vary so widely that it is important to understand that the causes will be unique and different for each one. Some will be genetic, some will be acute injuries, and still others will be chronic conditions, disorders, and more. Because of that, it is difficult to nail down one single cause (and accordingly, one single solution) to all global developmental delays.
Symptoms of GDD’s will vary as widely as the causes, but namely they include the slowing down of mental processes and physical actions related to mobility and dexterity. This decrease in abilities is due to the delay in brain processing brought on by many global developmental delays.
Communication problems, the use of aggressive behavior as a coping skill, motor skill difficulties, poor social skills, and even poor judgment may be other signs and symptoms of the presence of GDD’s.
Depending on the delay, many of these issues can be corrected through therapy, though still other issues cannot be corrected through therapy and must be dealt with accordingly in life for the child affected.
Because of that, there can be a significant stigma associated with these delays, as the child affected may see a difficult time in dealing with school, friends, teachers, and other people. But for people who deal with global developmental delays, there can be a solid quality of life thanks to therapy, communication skill teaching, and more.