Helping children to reach their full potential ~ supporting their challenges and celebrating their strengths!
About Developmental Paediatrics
Developmental Paediatricians have specialty interest, training and experience in childhood development: how they grow, how they acquire knowledge and skills, how they learn to behave and socialise. We use our training to understand children from a medical point of view, in order to determine the reasons for different problems of development and behaviour.
Our role is to support and guide parents in the journey of raising their children to achieve the best development and mental health/wellbeing by the time they become adults. This may include the use of medical treatments (such as medication), diagnosis (e.g. for school system), advocacy (to help others understand children and adapt their expectations) and specific recommendations regarding treatments and therapies. We work closely with psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, and teachers to provide a comprehensive service to your child and family.
Our Developmental Paediatricians specialise in assessing and managing a variety of Developmental and Neurodiverse Conditions. We provide care for children with Developmental Concerns, Specific Learning Disorders, Global Developmental Delay, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder and Challenging Behaviours. Our goal is to support families help their children reach their potential in a holistic approach with our Allied Health Team.
At Paeds Plus our aim is
to help children reach their
full potential & guide parents in the journey of raising their children to achieve the best outcome.
Understanding and supporting children's challenges...
Encouraging and celebrating
OUR DEVELOPMENTAL CLINICS
Our Developmental Paediatricians specialise in assessing and managing a variety of Developmental and Neurodiverse Conditions. Within our Developmental service, we run two seperate clinics that are structured with longer appointment times and scheduled follow-ups, tailored to meet the needs of neurodiverse children.
Our 'Developmental Clinic' provides care for children with a variety of developmental concerns, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, Developmental Delay, Learning and Language Disorders, Global Developmental Delay, and a range of other conditions.
Our "Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD)" clinic is for children with concerns related to ADHD symptoms. We provide a comprehensive service from assessment, diagnosis and implementation of therapy with regular prescheduled appointments providing ongoing care.
Each clinic has its own waitlist and is scheduled on different days with staff in that area of expertise. This allows for scheduling of longer appointment times for assessments, initiating therapy and follow-up appointments.
Our goal is to support families help their children reach their potential in a holistic approach, from diagnosis to treatment. We provide ongoing care and a therapy plan working collaboratively with our Allied Health Team.
Our areas of expertise include:
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
Global Developmental Delay (GDD)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Learning Difficulties and Language Disorders
Specific Learning Disorders
Anxiety and Depression
DEVELOPMENTAL PAEDIATRIC CONDITIONS
Developmental delay refers to a child who has not gained the developmental skills expected of him or her, compared to others of the same age. Delays may occur in the areas of gross motor, communication, fine motor, problem solving, personal-social.
Global developmental delay means a young child has significant delays in two or more of these areas of development. The term ‘developmental delay’ or ‘global developmental delay’ is often used until more is understood about a child’s development or another diagnosis is made, usually when children are older, eg school age.
There are many different signs and symptoms of delay that can exist in children and often vary depending upon specific characteristics. Sometimes you may see signs in infancy, but in other cases they may not be noticeable until your child reaches school age.
Some of the most common symptoms can include:
Learning and developing more slowly than other children same age
Rolling over, sitting up, crawling, or walking much later than developmentally appropriate
Difficulty communicating or socialising with others
Lower than average scores on IQ tests
Difficulties talking or talking late
Having problems remembering things
Inability to connect actions with consequences
Difficulty with problem-solving or logical thinking
Trouble learning in school
Inability to do everyday tasks like getting dressed or using the restroom without help
Diagnosis & Therapy
During your visit, the Developmental Paediatrician will discuss your concerns regarding your child’s development. A detailed history of your child’s growth and development will be obtained. This will include questions about pregnancy, birth, early development (i.e. milestones achieved), social & communication skills, gross motor skills, interests and overall health. Depending on the age and nature of your child’s visit, the Developmental Paediatrician may also engage your child in a play-based evaluation, observation of behaviour or conduct another test.
Developmental and behavioural assessments frequently use information gathered from multiple sources. With family and guardian consent, paediatricians will often liaise with schools, kindergartens or childcare centres as well as allied health professionals (psychologists, speech pathologists and occupational therapists) to more comprehensively understand your child. These assessments may require more than one consultation and may require time to collect all the information required for a comprehensive assessment.
Once the assessments are performed, a Developmental Paediatrician provides feedback. They will help you identify the developmental issues that your child is facing and develop a management plan. Often, they will refer your child to a specific therapy or recommend whether another medical test is required.
Although there is no cure for developmental delay, therapies directed to the specific area of delay are very effective in helping children catch up to their peers. If there is an underlying medical reason that causes the developmental delay, identification and treatment of that condition may improve your child’s developmental skills. Like other children, children with developmental delays keep learning. But they take longer to develop new skills, and they might learn in slightly different ways from other children.
Treatment varies depending on the nature of the developmental delay, however usual treatment paths include:
Paediatrician input and diagnosis, coordination of care and NDIS funding
Psychology, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy and other allied health intervention
Special Schools and Special Education Departments in mainstream schools
ASD - Autism Spectrum Disorder
ASD is a life-long developmental condition that affects the way an individual relates to their environment and those around them. ASD is a neuro-developmental disability thought to have neurological or genetic causes. A person on the autism spectrum has difficulties in some areas of their development, but other skills may develop typically.
The word ‘spectrum’ describes the range of difficulties that people on the Autistic spectrum may experience and the degree to which they may be affected. Some people may be able to live relatively normal lives, while others may have an accompanying learning challenges and require continued specialist support.
The main areas of difficulty involve social communication, social interaction and restricted or repetitive behaviours and interests. Children on the Autistic Spectrum may have unusual sensory interests or sensitivities, intellectual impairment or learning difficulties.
Some features of ASD can include:
Unusual intense or focused interests
Poor eye contact
Poor social skills
Difficulties or exceptional skills with self-organisation
Strict adherence to rules and daily routine
Repetitive movements or repetitive use of objects, ie turning lights on and off constantly
Speech and language difficulties
Literal in their interpretations
Difficulty understanding empathy, jokes and emotions
Diagnosis and Therapy
There is no biological test for autism. Instead, autism is diagnosed through observation and interaction with an individual, in conjunction with background information relating to development, health and behaviours.
Autism assessments may be completed by a single qualified professional, or by a multidisciplinary assessment team. Diagnostic Assessment Teams, usually a psychologist and speech therapists, carry out autism assessments. A range of screening tools and standardised autism-specific assessments and questionnaires are used to gather information to assist in the diagnostic process. Confirmation of the diagnosis is made by a Developmental Paediatrician. ASD is diagnosed under different severities, Level 1 (least severe) Level 2 (moderately severe) and Level 3 (severe). This level is to be determined by a Paediatrician or Psychiatrist following a thorough assessment.
A Developmental Paediatrician acts in a central role, providing assessments and confirmation of diagnosis, input and planning of therapy required and assistance with NDIS funding application. Although there is no cure for ASD, Early intervention has been shown to improve outcomes for children on the autism spectrum. Therapy may include intervention with Psychologists, Speech Therapists, Occupational Therapists, and other allied health professionals as well as medications if required can assist with a child’s overall progress.
Assistance at school through a teacher aide or Special Education Department can be useful and necessary for some children.
ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
The term Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is used to describe a neurodevelopmental disorder with a recognised and persistent pattern of behaviour.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a long-term problem that results in poor concentration and control of impulses. It can affect a child's learning and social interactions, and can have a big impact on family functioning.
The exact causes of ADHD are unknown, but it tends to run in families, so genes play some part. ADHD is not caused by poor parenting, ADHD is a 'neurological disorder' that affects brain functioning in several ways. The condition has links to abnormal cognitive, behavioural, and motivational functioning. ADHD can affect the regulation of moods, emotions, and brain cell connections. It can also affect communication between different areas of the brain.
The main signs and symptoms of ADHD include:
inattention – difficulty concentrating, forgetting instructions, moving from one task to another without completion
impulsivity – acting without thinking, talking over the top of others, losing control of emotions easily, being accident prone
overactivity – constant fidgeting and restlessness.
Some children have ADHD, but without the hyperactivity. These children have trouble focussing and paying attention, and can be forgetful and easily distracted. Sometimes the term 'inattentive ADHD' is used to describe this condition.
Diagnosis and Therapy
There is no test for ADHD. A specialist can only diagnose ADHD after making a detailed assessment and collecting a range of information about the child – especially from parents or carers and the child's school. Paediatricians and Psychiatrists use a variety of tools, scales and criteria when diagnosing ADHD. For ADHD to be diagnosed, the symptoms of ADHD must be obvious in most areas of the child’s life.
With good support at home and school, and, in some cases, medication treatment, a child with ADHD can live a successful life.
Children with ADHD often respond to various treatments including medication. The most effective treatment for the symptoms of ADHD is stimulant medication, which has been the standard treatment for children with ADHD since the 1970s. Stimulants act on the parts of the brain involved in controlling attention and arousal (being alert and awake). These medications greatly improve concentration, impulse control and hyperactivity in about 80 per cent of children with ADHD.
It is recommended that allied health interventions, such as Psychology and Occupational Therapy can also be useful for attention, concentration and behavioural modification. Assistance at school through a teacher aide or Special Education Department can be useful and necessary for some children.
You can help your child manage their ADHD symptoms by using positive parenting strategies, along with a range of home and classroom strategies. These include sticking to a routine, building social skills and planning your child’s learning environment.
Our goal is to support families help their children reach their potential in a holistic approach with our Allied Health Team.
ALL APPOINTMENTS WITH A PAEDIATRICIAN REQUIRE A GP MEDICAL REFERRAL LETTER
Appointment lengths vary. You will be notified of the expected appointment length at the time of booking an appointment. Depending on the clinic type, consults can range from 1-2 hours for initial assessments, to 20-45 minutes for follow-ups.
Please bring your Medicare Card, referral letter, previous assessment reports (if not emailed through) and list of current medications to your appointment. Your child’s Health and Development Record (purple/blue/green book) is also helpful. Also, if you have any other relevant reports (such as those from other medical appointments, teachers, or test results) that you would like considered in your appointment, please send them to our admin email prior to your consultation.
Booking in Appointments
* PLEASE NOTE: GP referrals are required for an appointment with our Paediatricians
To request an appointment, refer to our website and click on the referral/appointment link.
Once received, your referral will be reviewed by our team and triaged in order of urgency.
Our admin team will then contact you to schedule in an appointment.