Find every developmental paediatrician and child and adolescent psychiatrist in Perth and Western Australia who may be able to help your child.
Phone numbers and email addresses for all the paediatric practices in one place, along with tips on what to include in your referral by practice.
What you need to discuss with your GP to get the best outcome for your child’s development and increase the chance of your referral being accepted.
Find adult psychiatrists for teenagers to transition their care to or for adults who wish to be assessed for ADHD.
Tips on what to do while you’re waiting to see a paediatrician including accessing funding and other supports at school or in the community.
I’m Pia, the Mum behind Perth Kids Hub.
In 2021 I started collating and sharing a free list of paediatricians and allied health professionals to help families who were desperately seeking assessment and support.
This list has since grown into a website that connects Perth families with support and resources for their child’s development, health and wellbeing.
[Spoiler alert – it’s still just me bashing this out when the kids sleep.]
“Biggest thank you for the wonderful resources you have created – as a mother trying to get an ADHD assessment finalised it meant so much to read your kind approach and hear your practical advice.”
Your GP is the key person who can help you navigate the medical system and access support.
Check with your GP about your concerns and who the most appropriate professional is to diagnose and support your child.
Not all conditions require diagnosis by a paediatrician.
Discuss with your GP any concerns you have for your child, including any sleep, diet or mental health concerns and whether a Mental Health Treatment Plan or Chronic Diseases Management Plan would be of benefit in helping provide access to relevant allied health services, such as occupational therapy or psychology supports.
The WA government provides a free (government funded) Child Development Service (CDS) that includes developmental paediatrician services.
Families can find information about referral to this service at CAHS | Child and Adolescent Health Service – Referral information or by contacting CDS directly on 1300 551 827.
You may choose to go privately to see a paediatrician, however please be aware that there is a severe shortage in the private sector and waittimes can be longer than those currently provided by the CDS.
Private paediatricians require a GP referral to be sent through before they can add you to their waitlist. They use the information on the referral to triage (prioritise) the referral based on urgency of need.
If you are referring through the government funded Child Development Service please check their referral advice here.
If you are electing to go privately, each paediatrician has slightly different requirements so it’s best to check their website ahead of visiting your GP so that you can provide what they need. For example, some paediatricians will require that you and / or child’s teacher to complete specific questionnaires ahead of their initial appointment.
Some things that can be helpful to accompany the referral include:
1. A recent school report
2. A letter from the teacher that summarises their observations / concerns
3. NAPLAN results (if applicable)
4. Your own letter summarising what it is like at home with examples of how it impacts your child and family.
There are a small number of developmental paediatricians in Perth and a huge demand for appointments.
Most are at capacity and have closed their books. It’s dire. If you are in that situation, I am so sorry. I understand how stressful this process is – you just want your child to be happy. A diagnosis offers answers and a pathway to treatment and support.
I can’t sugar coat it – families are going to be waiting
anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to see a
paediatrician and get a formal diagnosis.
You do not need a referral to see an allied health practitioner such as a psychologist, play therapist, speech pathologist or occupational therapist.
If you are concerned about a speech delay, a hearing
test and review by a speech pathologist are
If your child is under 6 years of age, you do not need a formal diagnosis to apply for the National Disability Insurance Agency’s Early Childhood
If not already in place, it may be helpful for a family to liaise with their child’s teacher to develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for their child and discuss whether involvement of the school psychologist would be appropriate.
You can request a letter stating that you are on a waitlist to see a paediatrician / psychiatrist and provide this to your school to support interim accommodations or an application for an Individual
Disability Allocation (IDA).
Families seeking information about ADHD may find online resources such as the following useful:
Advice from the WA Department of Health as at 14 March 2023:
The Medicines and Poisons Act 2014/Regulations 2016 do not regulate ADHD diagnosis per se, only the prescribing of Schedule 8 stimulant medicines.
Unfortunately, the current restrictive requirements of the Medicines and Poisons Regulations 2016 only allow the Department to authorise a WA based specialist as an ‘authorised stimulant prescriber’ and, similarly, a GP can only be nominated as a co-prescriber by a WA ‘authorised stimulant prescriber’.
As the WA legislation only applies within the WA borders, the Department is unable to authorise an interstate specialist as an ‘authorised stimulant prescriber’ in WA.
We are taking steps to seek amendment of the Medicines and Poisons Regulations 2016 to better support emerging models of care, such as shared care arrangements between the patient’s WA based general practitioner and a specialist located interstate, with whom the patient consults via telehealth.
Unfortunately, regulatory amendments take time and it will likely be up to 12 months before the law controlling prescribing in WA catches up with this type of model of care.
Currently, this means that prescriptions for stimulant medicines in Schedule 8 written by a prescriber located interstate cannot be dispensed by a pharmacy located in Western Australia. Although not ideal, an interstate pharmacy could dispense the medication and mail it to the patient in WA.
If treatment is with Schedule 4 medicines (e.g. atomoxetine, guanfacine), there is no impediment through the Medicines and Poisons legislation as there are no additional authorisation requirements to prescribe any Schedule 4 medicines.
Similarly, any non-pharmacological treatments are not regulated through the Medicines and Poisons legislation.
Whilst I realise S8 stimulants are a key treatment option for children and young people with ADHD, it should not be assumed that every patient diagnosed with this condition will be treated with these particular medicines.