Working with children and young people requires expertise in working with the adults involved in the child’s life. Sometimes the presenting issues can create stress or anxiety in the parent or can significantly impact upon family relationships.
At times, parents may seek their own therapeutic counselling or support to address issues of concern. Sometimes this may include exploring childhood issues or trauma that may be impacting upon a parent’s current capacity to parent effectively. Sometimes parents simply want a reflective space of their own.
At Townsville Paediatrics, we have a specialist psychologist who has fast expertise and experience in working with adults around a range of issues such as depression, anxiety, marital issues, parenting issues, parent child attachment issues, and trauma and grief.
Children and Adolescents
- Fears and worries (e.g., phobias, social anxiety, separation anxiety, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder)
- Child and adolescent depression
- Suicidal thoughts and self-harm behaviours
- Behavioural problems (e.g., hyperactivity and attention difficulties and oppositional behaviours)
- Sleep difficulties and bed wetting
- Anger and aggressive behaviours
- Interpersonal and communication skills (e.g., social skills, assertive skills)
- School refusal
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Childhood obesity
- Eating disorders
- Adjustment issues (e.g., coping with major life events such as separation and divorce, adjusting to parent re-partnering and step-families, or coping with a chronic or terminal illness)
- Allergies and anaphylaxis
- Supporting young people with issues relating to pregnancy
- Grief & loss issues
- The Impact of child abuse (e.g., sexual and physical abuse & neglect)
- Childhood trauma (e.g., post-traumatic stress disorder and complex childhood trauma)
Parents and Families
- Parenting challenges & concerns
- Parent-child relationship issues
- Sibling issues
- Family change, adjustment, loss or trauma
- Issues unique to Same Sex Parented Families
- Issues unique to Foster Care, Permanent Care & Adoption Families
- Issues unique to child and/or family court proceedings
Townsville Paediatrics are able to provide a range of developmental and psychometric assessments. All assessments include a clinical parent interview that forms a critical part of the assessment, taking into consideration a child’s developmental history and other important factors. Assessments offered include (but are not limited to):
Assessment of Intellectual Functioning
Measuring a child’s intellectual functioning is sometimes referred to as measuring a child’s “IQ”. These measures help us to identify a child’s pattern of cognitive strengths and weaknesses across a range of areas. The most common measures used to assess intellectual functioning in children are the Wechsler Scales: WPPSI-IV (age range 2-6) and the WISC-V (age range 6-16), as well as WAIS-IV, offering similar services to (young) adults from the age of 16.
An assessment of intellectual functioning can assist in a better understanding of a range if presenting issues including (but not limited to):
- academic difficulties/strengths in the classroom
- behavioural difficulties in the classroom
- developmental issues (e.g., Intellectual disability, Autism spectrum disorders)
- assessment of children with high intellectual potential
- inform career pathways
An educational assessment consists of a combination of measures that assess a child’s intellectual functioning (see above) and academic performance. We can measure a child’s academic performance across a wide range of areas (Reading, Math, Writing and Oral Language) in comparison to same age and/or grade peers.
An educational assessment can assist in the overall understanding of a range if issues including (but not limited to):
- poor academic performance within certain areas at school
- behavioural difficulties in the classroom (e.g., aggressive behaviours, acting the “clown”)
- attention and concentration difficulties in the classroom
- appearing “bored” or disengaged in the classroom
School Readiness Assessments
As a parent, do you wonder whether your child has the necessary skills and abilities to commence school? Do you have concerns about delaying school entry?
At Townsville Paediatrics, we work individually with each child/family, giving careful consideration to a developmental checklist of skills and/or formal assessments to determine your child’s readiness for school. Assessment may include a developmental screen (e.g., Brigance III) and, in some instances, an assessment of intellectual functioning (see above).
Assessment usually includes a parent interview and consultation with your child’s current educators.
Autism Spectrum Disorder Assessments
The assessment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) requires a comprehensive assessment. Assessment aims to determine whether a child meets diagnostic criteria for ASD and seeks to evaluate the functioning and support needs of the child and their caregiver/s. This information, gathered from multiple sources, aims to inform future service delivery and funding needs.
Assessments are tailored to the unique clinical needs of each child and may include:
- A parent interview
- A child assessment
- A range of parent & teacher-based assessment, &
child-based assessment, depending on age
- A parent feedback session
Townsville Paediatrics uses a range of so-called ‘Gold standard’ psychometric assessment measures including the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule 2nd Edition (ADOS-2) and Autism Diagnostic Interview Revised Edition (ADI-R).
At Townsville Paediatrics we offer a range of neuropsychological assessments to children and (young)adults, for a variety of reasons. A Neuropsychological assessment uses specific tests designed to assess for thinking or memory difficulties. There are lots of reasons why a Neuropsychological assessment would be helpful such as:
- To determine a person’s capacity or competency to make decisions
- To rule out a cognitive disorder or to strengthen, refute a diagnosis
- To help family members to better understand the condition and tailor interventions to optimise functioning
- Provide insights into regions of the brain that may not be working as efficiently as others
- To answer why is this person experiencing memory or other cognitive difficulties?
- Does the person have an acquired brain injury (ABI)
- Does the person have ADHD or another learning disorder?
- What is the impact of this person’s diagnosis (e.g. ABI, medical condition, psychiatric illness) on their thinking and memory skills?
- What are the person’s strengths and weaknesses relating to memory, concentration, language abilities and decision making?
- To identify and pinpoint changes in a person’s thinking and behaviour.
- Does this person meet eligibility criteria for access to disability supports
- To describe potential implications of cognitive difficulties for work or study
- Assessment and advice regarding management of ABI-related behaviours of concern (e.g. aggression, disinhibition, reduced initiation)
- To provide advice and strategies for managing memory or other cognitive difficulties
- Provide recommendations for treatment planning and support needs
- Psychoeducation and support for clients and families about the brain, ABI, and cognitive strategies
Range of psychological tests that can be used:
- Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS-IV)
- Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-IV)
- Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS)
- Test of Premorbid Functioning
- Rey Complex Figure
- Various Word-List Learning Tasks
- Verbal fluency tasks
- Stroop colour-word interference test
- Trail Making Test
- Boston Naming Test
- Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-II)
- Test of Memory Malingering (TOMM)
A comprehensive assessment comprises 2-3 hours of testing (including an interview), interpretation of the results, liaising with 3rd parties to obtain additional background information, a comprehensive report answering the referral question, and a feedback session to provide results and outline helpful recommendations and treatment options to optimise functioning (can be 6 – 10 hours of the Psychologist’s time). If you have had a previous assessment then please provide the details to our admin team as the neuropsychologist would require copies of any previous assessments.