All children develop at different rates but you know your child best. If you are concerned about your child’s development, perhaps they’re not talking, moving, playing like other children of the same age, there’s a process you can follow to help you find the answers to your concerns.
Take a look at our information guides below and find out how to get a referral for assessment (or how to self-refer), what records and reports you might need, what you can do to support your child while waiting for an outcome and what to do once you receive a diagnosis or otherwise.
A First Steps guide for parents raising a child with a recent, or yet to be confirmed, diagnosis of disability, developmental delay, autism, genetic, rare, undiagnosed and/or chronic condition.
Is there another way to get a referral for my child as my doctor has told me to wait a while but I'm worried?
It can be difficult for health professionals to see your child’s symptoms or behaviours during a standard consultation. If you’re worried and don’t want to wait, you can self-refer your child to either the Child Development Service or Wanslea. Take a look at the process of seeking a diagnosis or contact one of our friendly Peer Navigators on (08) 6164 9806 or by email email@example.com
How can I get an autism assessment for my child?
Autism assessments differ for each Australian state. In WA, the process of getting an autism assessment depends on your child’s age and circumstances.
Typically, your first step is to book an appointment with your child’s GP who will then make the appropriate referrals.
These assessments can be done either through the public or private health systems, however, there is a waiting period for both.
The standards in WA recommend that an experienced multidisciplinary team carry out an autism assessment. This team can include a paediatrician, speech pathologist, clinical psychologist or psychiatrist and an occupational therapist who will work together to compile a formal diagnosis report.
Kiind Peer Navigators can guide you through the process of accessing an autism assessment based on your child’s situation. You can book a Pathway Planning session with a Peer Navigator today.
What’s the difference between ECEI and the Child Development Service?
The Child Development Service (CDS) and WA Country Health Service (WACHS) also provide free assessment, early intervention and treatment services to eligible children with disability, developmental delay or difficulties that impact on function, participation and/or parent-child relationships. Children are eligible for services up to the age of 16, (or 18 for those that live outside of the Perth metropolitan area).
Referrals to the CDS can be made by anyone including you, your local Child Health Nurse, GP or other health professional and no diagnosis is required. In some instances, children may be referred to the Child Development Service by Wanslea.
GPS and health professionals will refer your child to either Wanslea, (WA’s Early Childhood Partner for the NDIS) or CDS depending on their personal situation and circumstances.
I’m struggling to cope with the grief around my child’s diagnosis
Once you have received your child’s diagnosis, you are likely to feel a range of emotions, all of which will take time to process. At the same time, there are many things to learn such as how the health system works, assessing your child’s eligibility for funding, working out who to talk to, and where to find information.
Kiind’s Peer Navigation team can help you connect with other families, access various forms of peer support, low-cost counselling and locate services and support for you, your child and your family. Chat with one of our Peer Navigators now by calling (08) 6164 9806 or book an appointment.
Where can I find recommendations on disability service providers?