Global developmental delay teaching strategies
Global developmental delay has many causes which, as an end result, affect the functioning of the central nervous system. Causes can be genetic (e.g., Fragile X syndrome), or metabolic (e.g., PKU), prenatal (e.g., rubella or birth trauma), perinatal (e.g., prematurity or the result of a childhood injury or infection). Sometimes the cause for the condition is undetermined.
Implications for Planning and Awareness
- Meet with the student and parents early in the school year to discuss how the school can support the student’s unique needs. This could include finding out about specific health concerns or sensory difficulties that might affect the student at school, along with successful strategies used at home and in the community.
- If needed, collaborate with the parents and health care professionals to develop a written medical management plan that aligns with school and jurisdictional policies and protocols. This plan should include specific information, such as:
- medical concerns that may affect the student at school
- the role of school staff in managing medical concerns
- steps for management of associated medical concerns
- physical activities that are safe and appropriate for this student
- when emergency measures should be taken.
- If required, work with the parents to carry out a risk assessment prior to field trips to plan for the student’s safe and successful participation.
- Collaborate with the parents and student to consider if, and how, they would like to share information on the student’s specific condition with peers. If they wish to do so, consultation with health providers, such as community health nurses, may be helpful.
- Learn as much as you can about what a global developmental delay is, and how this condition may affect learning and social and emotional well-being. Reading, asking questions and talking to qualified professionals will help you to make informed decisions about how to best support the student’s success in the classroom.
- Collaborate with the school and/or jurisdictional team to identify and coordinate any needed consultation and supports. If required, work with specialists to arrange for any specialized equipment or modifications to the
- Develop a system for sharing information with relevant staff members about the student’s strengths, specific needs and strategies that support this student’s success.
Your awareness needs to begin with conversations with the student’s parents.
Implications for Instruction
- Work with school or jurisdictional teams and/or specialists to identify the learning implications of the student’s delays, including cognitive, language, attention, fine (cutting, colouring, printing) and gross (running, jumping)
motor delays, and develop solutions or strategies to support the student.
- Understand that skills may develop at a slower rate, so the gap between the student and peers may widen with age.
- Develop a set of photos, illustrations and/or symbols that can be used to create visual tools, such as a picture schedule, to build and support student understanding.
- Provide additional supports, such as small group instruction...