'An invisible disability' - mum hoping to raise awareness of Global Development Delay condition

Bournemouth Echo: YELLOW DAY: Emma Ellis, with her son Harrison, who suffers from a condition called Global Development Delay YELLOW DAY: Emma Ellis, with her son Harrison, who suffers from a condition called Global Development Delay

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.”

For more information, email ellis4.siem@hotmail.co.uk

Comments (3)

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7:41am Fri 28 Feb 14

RM says...

Wishing Emma & little Harrison all the best in their attempts to get more research into Global Development Delay.
Wishing Emma & little Harrison all the best in their attempts to get more research into Global Development Delay. RM
  • Score: 7

12:43pm Fri 28 Feb 14

Melanie.Read12 says...

My daughter was diagnosed with GDD at 18months old, and Emma's experience is all too familiar.
Elizabeth is now 3 and a half, and we are lucky that we have been able to work with her nursery leaders, in ensuring that she is supported as much as possible. We are hoping for her to attend a mainstream school in September.
However, the differences between her and her classmates is quite significant. She can walk with a frame, and has around 30 or so words now when you talk to her - which is amazing - but to anyone that looks at her in the "big wide world" she would look to be quite normal.
GDD is not well known, not understood in the wider community, and is lacking in the necessary non-financial support to enable children to integrate with their peers.
We also had Portage visits when she was smaller, and now get 1-2-1 support at her nursery, but this is only funded by Poole Council for term-time only (obviously her disability must go away during the school holidays!).
Wishing Emma and Harrison every good wish, and I shall be in touch personally.
My daughter was diagnosed with GDD at 18months old, and Emma's experience is all too familiar. Elizabeth is now 3 and a half, and we are lucky that we have been able to work with her nursery leaders, in ensuring that she is supported as much as possible. We are hoping for her to attend a mainstream school in September. However, the differences between her and her classmates is quite significant. She can walk with a frame, and has around 30 or so words now when you talk to her - which is amazing - but to anyone that looks at her in the "big wide world" she would look to be quite normal. GDD is not well known, not understood in the wider community, and is lacking in the necessary non-financial support to enable children to integrate with their peers. We also had Portage visits when she was smaller, and now get 1-2-1 support at her nursery, but this is only funded by Poole Council for term-time only (obviously her disability must go away during the school holidays!). Wishing Emma and Harrison every good wish, and I shall be in touch personally. Melanie.Read12
  • Score: 4

9:40pm Fri 28 Feb 14

kirstie75 says...

Our daughter was diagnosed with global delay at about 2 years old. She will b 6 in august and has been backyeared at school so started in reception in sept 2013.
She is statemented and receives 30 hours 1-1 support at school (once she attends fulltime) currently she goes 5 mornings but tires very quickly.she functions at around 3/4 years and the gap between her peers is becoming more noticeable.
It is true that global delay is not always recognised and I hope that more awareness is raised by doing this xx
Our daughter was diagnosed with global delay at about 2 years old. She will b 6 in august and has been backyeared at school so started in reception in sept 2013. She is statemented and receives 30 hours 1-1 support at school (once she attends fulltime) currently she goes 5 mornings but tires very quickly.she functions at around 3/4 years and the gap between her peers is becoming more noticeable. It is true that global delay is not always recognised and I hope that more awareness is raised by doing this xx kirstie75
  • Score: 2

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