Developmental and Behavioural Concerns

Availability

North South North West Statewide

Pre-referral work-up

History

Assessment and management of children and young people with developmental or behavioural concerns who are less than 18 years of age.

Referral Process

Please send referrals to the RHH Paediatrics Clinics and patients may be seen in General Paediatrics clinics, outreach clinics.

All referrals should comply with the Referral Standards and must include the following minimum referral criteria:

  • Parental/carer contact name and phone number
  • Reasons for concern and expectation of referral
  • Previous Investigations and treatments (if any)
  • Social situation including Orders or other Services already involved
  • Report presence or absence of concerning features
    • Is there definite history of developmental regression, and if so what specific loss of skills has been noted?
  • Description of the behaviours of concern
  • Nature of parent concerns
  • For children attending school a letter from the school outlining behaviours of concern is required, if school based behaviours are the primary reason for the referral.
  • Is physical aggression placing family members (e.g. much younger siblings) at risk of injury? If so, provide details outlining which family members and why they may be at risk of injury. Consider referral to Child Youth Mental Health  service as per other useful information

Tests

No specific tests are required for this condition

Interim/GP management

To refer a patient with this condition, please see the Paediatrics clinic page for the full referral process and templates.

Information which may be helpful in triaging the referral:

  • Brief comment on current school educational attainments (good, average, poor, very poor (>2 years behind))
  • Information about school attendance, expulsion or suspension.
  • Estimated number of days suspended in the previous 3 months.
  • Estimated number of days missed because of school refusal.
  • Previous medications or therapies used.
  • Significant psychosocial risk factors (especially parents' mental health, family violence, housing and financial stress, department of child safety involvement)
  • Previous services accessed (other paediatricians, mental health services, allied health services, etc.)
  • Family history, including family members affected with ASD, ADHD, learning difficulty or mental illness.
  • Copies of previous of speech, occupational therapy, physiotherapy or cognitive assessments if available.
  • Audiometry

Consider involvement of Children’s Auditory Performance Scale (CHAPS)

For more information please see the Tasmanian Health Pathways website.

Red flags are clinical indicators of possible serious underlying conditions requiring further medical intervention. They may or may not indicate an emergency.

Emergency:

Proceed to Emergency Department (ED).
LGH ED Reception  – Phone: (03) 6777 6405  Fax: (03) 6777 5201
MCH ED* – Phone: (03) 6478 5120  Fax: (03) 6441 5923
NWRH ED* – Phone: (03) 6493 6351 Fax: (03) 6464 1926
RHH ED Reception – Phone: (03) 6166 6100  Fax: (03) 6173 0489

Advice for medical practitioners can be given by the Medical Officer In Charge (MOIC) - see HealthPathways Tasmania for contact information.
*MCH and NWRH MOICs request GPs call them prior to referring a patient to ensure the patient is being sent appropriately to a safe destination.

Urgent:

We will endeavour to see these patients within 1 month.

Urgent referrals should be accompanied by a phone call to the Consultant/Registrar to organise urgent review and the referral must be faxed.

For any urgent sexual abuse/assault concerns please phone RHH switchboard and ask Paediatric Sexual Assault Consultant or Registrar on call for advice.

Semi-urgent:

We will endeavour to see these patients within 3 months

Routine:

Next available appointment