“Before he arrived at our home, we were told sixteen year old Mark had ‘Global Developmental Delay’ meaning he functioned at the same level as a three year old, but he was a three year old with a difference. His temper would flare very quickly and unpredictably. He would try to pinch us or even bite us and would, quite literally, pull his hair out. His inability to communicate frustrated him and made him feel vulnerable and insecure. Simple things like trips to the supermarket really affected him and every time we took him to one, he had a meltdown.
Something had to change and, for everyone’s sake, it had to change fast!” explains our foster carer, Jenny.
What is Global Developmental Delay?
Affecting up to 3% of the population, GDD is usually caused by premature birth, chromosomal and / or genetic abnormalities and occasionally by Rubella or Meningitis. GDD becomes noticeable at any point from birth until a child reaches 18.
Children with GDD have significant issues with communication and intellectual functioning.
“Since Mark came to live with us, nearly a year ago, he’s changed enormously. A balanced diet with regular meals has helped him to grow both in stature and in his personal development. Knowing he is safe, secure and loved by us has enabled him to relax and the aggressive outbursts have gone; it’s just the occasional flash of teenage attitude that we need to deal with from time to time, but that’s only to be expected in a sixteen year old! These days, he’s as good as gold in the supermarket and is quite happy to potter around with us, although triggers, such as a baby crying, can cause problems for him.”
Milly the dog
“Then there’s our dog, Milly, she loves Mark and he’s a constant source of food! Milly follows him around like a vacuum cleaner as he drops crumbs on the floor! Although Mark has a loose idea of what kindness is, he hasn’t really got the hang of it, so we are very careful never to leave Mark and Milly alone in case either of them got hurt. That wouldn’t be at all fair.”
“Mark’s a lovely lad; he’s one of the family and seeing him happy, makes me happy.”
There are lots of Mark’s out there
Sadly, there are many more young people, just like Mark, who need the security, support and a contented home life to achieve their full potential.
If you feel you could help, please get in touch with us. We’ll be right beside you all the way.
If you know of someone with GDD, charities such Brainwave as offer extensive help with assessments, therapy and support.