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Global Developmental Delay


The term global development delay is used when a child shows delays in several areas of development, and this has continued for at least six months.  Delays may be identified in:

  • gross motor development such as walking or sitting
  • fine motor development such as drawing or holding a toy
  • speech or language development
  • thinking, understanding and learning
  • how they relate to other people, make friends and regulate their own emotions

Global developmental delay is fairly common and can occur for no clear reason, with children eventually catching up. However, delays can also be signs of more serious underlying conditions.


  • Premature birth
  • Genetic conditions
  • Difficulties during pregnancy or immediately after birth
  • Hearing and / or visual impairments or loss
  • Speech or language problems
  • Injuries to the brain from physical trauma
  • Brain infections such as meningitis or encephalitis
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, adhd, apraxia
  • Frequent or ongoing illness and hospitalisation
  • Family stress

Treatment and Therapy:

Early intervention programs provides a head start for children with developmental delays and allow them to reach their full potential by addressing physical, social or behavioural challenges.

At Kings college hospital, your child will be supported by a multidisciplinary team that work together to provide a comprehensive early intervention approach. This team includes:

  • Medical specialists such as a paediatrician, neurologist, orthopaedic specialist.
  • Occupational therapists who support children by improving their motor, cognitive, sensory processing, communication, and play skills.
  • Physiotherapists who helps children with skills like walking, by addressing problems like poor balance and muscle weakness.
  • Speech and language therapists who can treat speech difficulties and provide support with language development.

The multidisciplinary team will talk to you about your child’s strengths and challenges and will work with you to develop a management plan.