YOUNG Harrison Ellis will celebrate his fifth birthday this summer, but in terms of his development, he is still in his infancy.

For Harrison has an invisible disability known as Global Development Delay which is diagnosed when a child has more than one delay in areas such as speech, language, learning and mobility.

His mother Emma, who lives at Throop, says she knew that all was not right from the moment her son was born.

“I had a gut instinct from the beginning, but the medical professionals said we should just wait and see how he gets on.

“By six months he wasn’t weight bearing and by the time it came to his two year check he still wasn’t talking and he was then referred to a paediatrician.

“We were sent down the speech and language route at first but I always came away feeling very deflated because it just underlined how far behind he was, when what I wanted to know was what had caused it.”

Harrison was assigned a portage worker, a home teaching service for pre-school children with special needs and their families. Since then the portage service at Bournemouth council has been cut back and is only available for around six weeks.

“Without the support of our portage worker I don’t know where we would be – it helped us to learn to communicate with him and prepare him for school.”

Now Emma is organising a Global Development Delay awareness day on Thursday, May 1.

“We are not asking for donations, just for people to wear something yellow.”

She adds: “Harrison is a very happy, lovable boy but we don’t know what the future holds for him.

“I would love to see a charity set up so more research can be carried out to find out what causes this and to provide families with the support they need.”

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