Global Development Delay

dealing with global development delay

Global Development Delay

Global development delay (GDD) describes a condition which occurs between birth and 18 years old. The child is identified as having lower intellectual functioning than what is perceived as normal and usually has significant difficulties with communication as well.

The causes of GDD vary – the most common causes are genetic such as Down’s Syndrome or changes in the way the brain or spine has developed such as cerebral palsy. Being born too early or infections can also cause GDD.

Children with GDD often have trouble learning to sit without support tending not to crawl by 12 months or roll over by 6 months. They often have poor social skills and limited fine and gross motor skills. Some children with GDD can show aggressive behaviour which is often used as a coping mechanism. Children can be diagnosed at a very early age because of trouble feeding or poor muscle tone.

Whilst there is no treatment for GDD, strategies and adaptations can be done to support the child to live a happy and meaningful life and achieve their potential both in school and at home.

How can Kate Meads Associates help?


The focus of the occupational therapy assessment will be to identify your child’s strengths and limitations. The occupational therapist will meet with you to discuss how your child has developed so far and what your goals are for the future e.g. for them to sit independently, wash and dress by themselves or to take part in certain school activities. The occupational therapist will take time getting to know your child, playing with them and watching them move and engage in activities with the aim of identifying the nature of their disabilities and the barriers they face.


KMA will produce a detailed yet accessible report within 10 working days of your assessment. This report will provide a summary of the barriers that get in the way of your child fulfilling their roles and routines and make a number of recommendations that might help.

Therapies and treatment

Our occupational therapists are highly trained and experienced and are passionate about providing evidence-based interventions to improve functional performance. Each treatment plan will be individual, underpinned by occupational therapy philosophy, taking a person-centred and strengths-based approach. Our ultimate aim is to help a person to achieve their goals and improve their functional performance.

The occupational therapist will work with you and your child to develop their skills and cope with day to day demands. Treatment will focus on improving function and developing skills in daily activities such as taking part in school-based activities and becoming more independent at home. Our occupational therapists are also keen to promote strengths and will help your child to use their strengths and develop their confidence and self-esteem.

Examples of common treatment aims include:-

  • Handwriting support
  • Postural assessment and strategies
  • Fatigue management
  • Motor / movement planning and sequencing
  • Strength and muscle tone improvement
  • Improving their ability to play sports e.g. throw and catch
  • Work with the school to develop strategies and appropriate adaptations
  • Support and training for school staff to promote understanding
  • Focused work on improving independence in daily tasks such as washing and dressing

Do you know someone who has difficulty…?

  • Meeting their motor milestones e.g. sitting unsupported or crawling?
  • Taking part in school activities?
  • Keeping up with their peers in school, sports or play?
  • Learning to wash and dress independently?

If so, please contact one of our occupational therapists on 01264 326308 for a free “no obligation” telephone consultation to discuss your needs and find out how we may help.

Members of

  • Vocational Rehabilitation Association
  • International Disability Management Standards Council
  • Health & Care Professions Council
  • Health & Care Professions Council
  • British Association of Brain University Case Managers
  • British Association of Brain University Case Managers