Whether you are concerned about your Child or Adolescent’s school performance, behavioural difficulties, friendship issues, or you are worried about Autism Spectrum Disorder (including Aspergers) or ADHD, we are here to help. Child Psychiatrists are formally recognised and specifically trained in paediatric developmental disorders.
As a practice led by Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, the Multidisciplinary Team at Brisbane Specialist Suites is in the best position to understand the complex emotional, social and cognitive developmental needs of Children and Adolescents who come to see us.
Although some community Developmental Paediatricians can offer Developmental Assessment for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD, Aspergers), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or other developmental or school based difficulties, only Child Psychiatrists have an expert understanding of paediatric developmental disorders and offer both biological (i.e., medication based) and psychological (therapy-based) approaches to treatment in the one consultation.
Our Psychiatrists, Dr Llewellyn, Dr Jessop & Dr Steele, appreciate the challenges different family members can face at home and at school when helping a child to adjust to complex emotional, academic or behavioural challenges. Our team is committed to supporting the whole family as we work towards improving their social and emotional well-being.
In addition to providing a range of services to assist Children in the management of Anxiety and Mood Disorders, we also provide Developmental Assessments in cases where parents are worried their child may be suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or Autism Spectrum Disorder (including Asperger’s Syndrome).
We are often able to provide you with an opinion after a single diagnostic assessment (in cases where sufficient collateral is provided), and we can provide formal diagnostic Verification for Education Queensland as well as Catholic Education.
In addition, our Psychologist Alexandra Ward is able to conduct Cognitive (IQ) Assessment as well as School Based Observations to further clarify your child’s developmental needs and inform treatment planning.
If you request our school liaison service, you can be reassured that everyone involved in your child’s care will come to understand their unique educational and psychological needs. In this way, we all contribute positively and work together to optimising their social, emotional and cognitive development when at school.
Our Group Therapy Program provides a range of groups that can be particularly helpful in cases of School Refusal, Social Anxiety, as well as for young people with Autism Spectrum Disorders who need assistance to develop their Social Skills.
Please contact Reception on (07) 3831 8700 if you would like more information about our Group Therapy Program at Brisbane Specialist Suites.
Whether you see a Psychiatrist or Psychologist first, a comprehensive assessment should always involve a detailed history from caregivers. This will involve both parents or guardians. The involvement of both guardians is particularly important if the child in question is required to live between two households. This part of the assessment will focus on:
Your Specialist will also request collateral information from prior treatment providers (GP, psychologist) as well as school (teacher, guidance officer or school chaplain).
The second part of the assessment will involve an interview with your child. Your child may be interviewed alone, which is common practice. Whilst taking a history, your Specialist should also screen your child for any co-existing learning or language disorder which might impact on their capacity to self-soothe and participate in school-or peer-based activities.
Depending on the history, your Specialist may recommend blood tests to exclude possible co-existing medical conditions that can typically manifest with anxiety symptoms. This is particularly important if you are considering medication.
Good practice dictates that first line treatment should consist of regular psychological treatment from an appropriately skilled Psychologist, Psychotherapist or Child Psychiatrist with experience with children of this age. Psychotherapeutic sessions will generally occur weekly or fortnightly, and generally use principles from Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.
Caregivers are encouraged to be strong participants in their child’s therapy. Your Specialist at Brisbane Specialist Suites will teach caregivers skills so that they may have the knowledge to reinforce strategies at home.
Medication is only considered when psychological strategies have failed, or when anxiety is of such severity that the child is unable to participate in psychological treatment or has serious thoughts of self-harm. Medication should only be considered under the supervision of a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist.