How Is a Global Developmental Delay Diagnosed in Australia?

The study of global developmental delay (GDD) with developing and implementing effective standards has been published earlier, however, the evidence for the specific recommendations varies greatly and is largely based on non-experimental illustrative studies and expert opinions. 

Children age in typical and organised ways when it comes to the areas of cognitive, speech and language, motor, personal and social abilities, and everyday living activities. A significant number of Australian newborns may be diagnosed with global developmental delay, but due to the low yield or result, it is difficult for paediatricians to investigate the reason or factors behind the delay in the developmental period of a child between birth and 18 years.

The basic question of who to diagnose and “how” has been a tough one to figure out for paediatricians, healthcare practitioners, and researchers. While it is believed that GDD affects 1- 3% of the population, it’s crucial to understand the GDD condition diagnosed in Australia and all the necessary information related to it. 

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Global Development Delay in Young Australian Kids

Though children generally advance through developmental stages at comparable rates, it is not unusual for one child to reach one developmental milestone before another.

When a kid exhibits delays in a number of developmental domains, this is referred to as a global developmental delay or GDD. It is a generic word used to describe any delay in the developmental period of a child between birth and 18 years.

A child with global developmental delay (GDD) frequently has delays across a number of developmental domains. Areas of delay may include motor skills, speech, and language, cognition, social and recreational abilities. Typically, children with GDD will appear younger or less developed than their peers who are typically developing.

And it is vital to note that long-term developmental delays come with intellectual disability, learning disabilities and can be due to cerebral palsy, genetic defects  or stressful pregnancy

How Does GDD Impact a Kid?

Now that we understand “what is global developmental delay“, it is important that parents, caregivers and loved ones of children with this condition recognise the symptoms and facts related to Global Developmental Delay. 

Global developmental delay facts

There are numerous potential causes of GDD, some of which are irreversible. They consist of:

  • A genetic disorder like Down syndrome
  • Premature birth
  • A chromosomal disorder like Fragile X
  • Issues with the baby’s oxygen supply or excessive bleeding during the birth or pregnancy
  • Thyroid function and other metabolic disorders
  • Loss of hearing or vision
  • Challenges with language and speech
  • Persistent sickness and extended hospitalisation
  • Injuries to the head or meningitis as well as other brain infections

Symptoms of GDD

Each child with GDD may manifest in a different way considering child development is multifaceted. Children may be behind in a variety of developmental areas. GDD may impact a child in,

  • Gross motor development, such as walking or crawling.
  • Speech and language development.
  • Developed fine motor skills, such as drawing or developing penmanship..
  • Social interaction and interpersonal relationships (For instance, building a friendship).
  • Considering, recognising, and learning.
  • Emotional regulation.
  • Daily life tasks like getting dressed. 

How Is a Global Developmental Delay Diagnosed in Australia?

Diagnosing a global developmental delay can be difficult because there is no one diagnostic test that can be used to determine whether a child has a delay. However, most children with global developmental delay (GDD) will be diagnosed by a developmental paediatrician or other autism specialists. In Australia, GDD is usually diagnosed when a child is between two and four years old.

The child and their family’s ability to function and the potential need for support will vary depending on the combination of delays and degree of delays. A child may have to go through a wide range of assessments while getting a diagnosis in Australia. 

In Australia, a global developmental delay (GDD) can be diagnosed using a range of methods which can be used to figure out the right course of treatment for global developmental delay. However, the most commonly used approach is early assessment. This assessment is used to identify whether a child is developing at the expected rate compared to other children of their age.

Early intervention can help if your kid has a developmental delay that has been diagnosed or is suspected of having one to opt for the right kind of global developmental delay therapy.

To assist kids in acquiring the abilities, they need to participate in daily activities of early intervention programmes that include therapies, support, education, and other things. Children who get early intervention may occasionally require less or no support as they get older.

No matter if it’s at home, a daycare, a preschool, or a school, early and intensive intervention is most effective when it’s given in the child’s surroundings.

Assessments and services involved in the GDD diagnosis include:

  • Assistive technology – Devices such as the (electronic) autism headphones to help your child 
  • The Tomatis® Method 
  • Physical therapy
  • Vision and Hearing tests
  • Speech or language evaluations
  • Behaviour assessments
  • Occupational therapy
  • Neurological test
  • Psychological services
  • Family counselling and training

It can be unsettling to learn that your child has a developmental delay. Nevertheless, certain global developmental delay therapy can improve your child’s functioning or help them stay up with their peers if they have a GDD.

Who Diagnoses Global Developmental Delay?

Your child may be referred to one or more experts by your healthcare practitioner, depending on the severity of the condition. These may consist of:

  • A speech therapist
  • A specialist in hearing
  • A neurologist
  • A developmental paediatrician
  • A psychologist
  • A provider of early intervention services

Is GDD the same as Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Even though you may find a crossover between the symptoms of global developmental delay and autism, a significant difference can be identified as your kid grows up. 

According to a study, people with GDD were more adept at copying others than those with ASD, which is a crucial ability to learn skills for kids.

Children with GDD are less likely to exhibit constrictive or repetitive behaviour patterns, and they normally react to social situations with others more properly.

In comparison to their counterparts with ASD, children with GDD may exhibit a more pronounced delay in problem-solving, motor abilities, and adaptive behaviours.

Unlike global developmental delay, children with ASD typically present with: 

  • Limited mimicking of noises, gestures, or speech.
  • Repeated actions, such as rocking back and forth or/and flapping their hands. 
  • Unresponsive to social contact with others.
  • Restrictive actions (For instance, fixations on one topic or toy).

If your child presents signs of Global Developmental Delay, claim your 20 minutes FREE chat valued at $125 with our expert

Does Global Developmental Delay Affect Learning?

Children with GDD typically take longer than other children their age to learn new abilities. They might not have the fundamental abilities needed to learn, and it might take them longer than their peers to develop these abilities.

Every kid with GDD will experience their condition in a unique way; therefore, it’s critical to conduct a thorough evaluation to pinpoint your child’s present level of skills as well as their capabilities and limitations so as to provide the best possible treatment for global developmental delay. 

The 0–3-year-old period is when the brain is most flexible and adaptable [6]. Therefore, for infants with GDD to achieve the best results, appropriate early care and right treatment for global developmental delay is essential.

Behavioural intervention methods are still useful when the child is older, but early and intensive treatment (The Tomatis® Method) yields better results.

Why is Early Intervention Essential?

A diagnosis is critical since it enables: 

  • Prompt commencement of aspects of the operation.
  • Improved forecasting
  • Prevention of complications
  • Improved access to community services

This remark aims to give professionals a framework for the right diagnosis of GDD in children that will aid in the application treatment for global developmental delay. 

How Can We Help Your Child With GDD?

It is important to understand that the ear is highly connected to the brain and the whole body so it is the gateway to the latters.  The Tomatis® Method works largely with the ear in the early stage (passive phase), conveying music in distinctive contrasts, or what is sometimes referred to as “filters.” This teaches the brain to recognise variability and take advantage of shifts in it. The user now gives a tone during the active phase that is automatically tuned by the listening autism device (TalksUp® and specialised headphones), delivering what the brain should perceive.

The Tomatis® Method is a professional support system that aids in the treatment of behavioural, linguistic, and cognitive developmental disabilities.

Enhance Your Child’s Future With The Tomatis® Method

“The voice can only reproduce what the ear hears.” ~Dr. Alfred Tomatis

Acknowledging what Dr Alfred Tomatis said, it is understood that, particularly in verbal communication, tone (pitch, quality, and sound), rhythm (strong, repeated pattern), and diction, all play important roles. In a flow of sounds, each feature is distinguished by more minor but important elements. 

The Tomatis® Method uses bone conduction and air conduction to treat a child’s or adult’s voice. By repeatedly engaging the brain and teaching it to “listen,” the basic sounds of language can help children and adults overcome linguistic barriers (language and other delays).

To speak with our Tomatis® professionals in Australia or Certified Tomatis® Consultant Françoise Nicoloff, who personally investigated The Tomatis® path with Dr. Alfred Tomatis, please get in touch with us right away.

If your child presents signs of Global Developmental Delay, claim your 20 minutes FREE chat valued at $125 with our expert

Françoise Nicoloff

Official Representative of Tomatis Developpement SA in Australia, Asia and South Pacific, Director of the Australian Tomatis® Method, Registered Psychologist, Certified Tomatis® Consultant Senior, Tomatis® International Trainer and Speaker, Co-author of the Listening Journey Series, 40 Years of Experience, Neurodiversity Speaker

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