Diagnosis and Management of Global Development Delay: Consensus Guidelines of Growth, Development and Behavioral Pediatrics Chapter, Neurology Chapter and Neurodevelopment Pediatrics Chapter of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics

Monica Juneja, Arpita Gupta, Smitha Sairam, Ridhimaa Jain, Monika Sharma, Anjana Thadani, Roopa Srinivasan, Lokesh Lingappa, Shabina Ahmed, K. S. Multani, Pankaj Buch, Nandita Chatterjee, Samir Dalwai, Madhulika Kabra, Seema Kapoor, Prarthana Kharod Patel, K. M. Girisha, Madhuri Kulkarni, P. A.M. Kunju, Prahbhjot MalhiZafar Meenai, Devendra Mishra, Nandini Mundkur, M. K.C. Nair, Samuel Philip Oommen, Chhaya Prasad, Arun Singh, Leena Srivastava, Praveen Suman, Rahul Thakur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


JUSTIFICATION: Global developmental delay (GDD) is a relatively common neurodevelopmental disorder; however, paucity of published literature and absence of uniform guidelines increases the complexity of clinical management of this condition. Hence, there is a need of practical guidelines for the pediatrician on the diagnosis and management of GDD, summarizing the available evidence, and filling in the gaps in existing knowledge and practices. PROCESS: Seven subcommittees of subject experts comprising of writing and expert group from among members of Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP) and its chapters of Neurology, Neurodevelopment Pediatrics and Growth Development and Behavioral Pediatrics were constituted, who reviewed literature, developed key questions and prepared the first draft on guidelines after multiple rounds of discussion. The guidelines were then discussed by the whole group in an online meeting. The points of contention were discussed and a general consensus was arrived at, after which final guidelines were drafted by the writing group and approved by all contributors. The guidelines were then approved by the Executive Board of IAP. Guidelines: GDD is defined as significant delay (at least 2 standard deviations below the mean with standardized developmental tests) in at least two developmental domains in children under 5 years of age; however, children whose delay can be explained primarily by motor issues or severe uncorrected visual/hearing impairment are excluded. Severity of GDD can be classified as mild, moderate, severe and profound on adaptive functioning. For all children, in addition to routine surveillance, developmental screening using standardized tools should be done at 9-12 months,18-24 months, and at school entry; whereas, for high risk infants, it should be done 6-monthly till 24 months and yearly till 5 years of age; in addition to once at school entry. All children, especially those diagnosed with GDD, should be screened for ASD at 18-24 months, and if screen negative, again at 3 years of age. It is recommended that investigations should always follow a careful history and examination to plan targeted testing and, vision and hearing screening should be done in all cases prior to standardized tests of development. Neuro-imaging, preferably magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, should be obtained when specific clinical indicators are present. Biochemical and metabolic investigations should be targeted towards identifying treatable conditions and genetic tests are recommended in presence of clinical suspicion of a genetic syndrome and/or in the absence of a clear etiology. Multidisciplinary intervention should be initiated soon after the delay is recognized even before a formal diagnosis is made, and early intervention for high risk infants should start in the nursery with developmentally supportive care. Detailed structured counselling of family regarding the diagnosis, etiology, comorbidities, investigations, management, prognosis and follow-up is recommended. Regular targeted follow-up should be done, preferably in consultation with a team of experts led by a developmental pediatrician/ pediatric neurologist.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-415
Number of pages15
JournalIndian Pediatrics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 15-05-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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