My 4 year old, adopted from China, suffered from some severe malnutrition and possibly a serious illness (it was reported to us that she had long-term fevers, maybe anemia). She is diagnosed with global developmental delay and her teachers believe she has apraxia as well. Neurological and genetic tests came back normal. She says a few words - very sporatic. She has been getting OT, PT, and speech therapy since she came home, at 22 months. Her fine and gross motor skills are still quite delayed, but she makes steady progress. She went from being unable to hold her head up or sit up at 22 months to walking by 2 and a half. She can now jump, run, hold a crayon, etc., but still cannot use utensils effectively and is still in diapers. Socially, she is much less mature than her peers (who, at her school, mostly have special needs as well). Her behavior has been described as "spectrum-y", but those who know her well and work with her feel she is too socially responsive to be autistic. Can a child who cannot speak at age 4 have any hope of developing functional speech or is the writing on the wall? Does global developmental delay typically mean a future of mental retardation? I sometimes wonder if all of the kind professionals we work with are afraid to give us the truth.
Thanks so much!
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