One of the biggest reasons why GDD is best determined through certified diagnosis is because it is often tangled with the emotional problems of the child. In fact, it can get even more confusing when some forms of developmental delays are directly related to their emotional skills!
Here is a rough outline that illustrates how this often plays out:
1. Developmental Delay Manifests
A type of GDD starts to have its adverse effects on the child’s skills. Parents notice that the child may not be sitting up right, or that the child isn’t speaking or pronouncing words properly.
2. The Child Struggles Emotionally
As the child grows and enters school, he or she notices that their developmental delay has become a disability and it makes them feel increasingly isolated. In fact, it has been said that achievement stress often occurs at this time and it can only be expected to be worse among children with disabilities.
3. Disengagement, Depression and Mood Pile On
The difficulties that the child experiences causes them to feel more disengaged in class. This leads to poorer performance, depression about their learning difficulties as well as straining relationships with family and friends.
At this point, it becomes difficult for parents to really tell if their children truly has some form of disability or is suffering emotionally because they can sense this disability holding them back.
However, unraveling this complex problem is the key to better understanding where a child is truly having delays. It is through identifying these delays at the source that they can be addressed and counteract their negative chain reaction in their emotional health.
That said, there are certainly more ways to improve their emotional state once a diagnosis has been completed. Consider the following strategies:
Encourage the skills the child excels in.
Remember, developmental delays do not always imply complete disability. Some children with speech communication delays can still be very physically active. Others can have sensory problems that lead to difficulty in the classroom, but can still possess a talent for certain subjects when tutored on-on-one. Parents should really encourage these talents rather than constantly focus on where their child is lacking.
Differentiate emotional problems from developmental delays.
Some children are prone to self-blame and negative self-talk because of their learning disability. For example, they may say they’re ‘too stupid’ to attend school even when they are only truly at a disadvantage in certain subjects. That is why it is up to parents to spot this behaviour and turn it around. Tell these kids that they are not as hopeless as their delays make them out to be!
Help the child manage their feelings.
There are plenty of emotional regulation tools available that can help differently abled people cope with the stress of being behind everyone else.These tools can also be a nice way to take breaks from their special lessons. As a parent, making the most of what is available can help a child stay in a positive state of mind, which in turn puts them in a better place to keep learning.
All in all, one should never underestimate the impact of emotional health when it comes to learning ability. By identifying and framing a child’s developmental delay, you can help them develop a better attitude towards it and towards a better approach to their growth.
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