Paediatricians & Medical Specialists

FAQs

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
recommended.

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
Approach.  

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).

Yes, including by telehealth.  Scripts prescribed interstate registered paediatricians, psychiatrists and neurologists can be dispensed in WA if they were prescribed after 13 December 2023.  Check the Department of Health website for more updates on stimulant prescriptions.  

Finding the right person for your family

I recommend families do their own research to ensure the doctor or practitioner they select is one that will suit their family.  

This may include:

  1. Checking the AHPRA register of practitioners to ensure they are registered to practice and if they have any conditions that have been placed on their practice.  
  2. A Google search of their name and / or practice name. 
  3. Asking for feedback from others on their experiences.  Closed parent Facebook groups can be great for this but please ask for any negative feedback to be privately messaged to you and not shared.

Inclusion in this directory is not an endorsement of any practitioners.  

Latest news

I share the latest updates on paediatrician availability here.  Things change very quickly so check back often for updates.  If you have an update you would like to include please contact Pia here.

Inclusion in this directory is not an endorsement of any practitioners.  

Dr Michael Slattery is returning to practice to help tackle the long wait times for ADHD assessment and support.  

He will see children aged 5 to 16 years for ADHD only. 

For more information on referrals see his listing here.

Last updated 16 April 2024.

The Healan Centre have made some changes to their services and now provide services to people of all ages, not just children and youth.

They have three new specialists: Dr Joanne Edwards, Dr Trusha Brys, and Dr Ravi Tankala.  

They have an additional specialist joining at the end of this month to cater for clients who are over 18.

For more information on current wait times, their three step process and their specialists please visit their listing here.

Last updated 16 April 2024.

Dokotela are now accepting referrals for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) within the following parameters:

  • ASD for children (without co-morbid ADD). Next available appointment next week with Dr Joan Haliburn.
  • ADD and ADD(with co-morbid ASD) for children (ages 10-18). Next available appointment August with Dr Ryan Lee.

Note: these patients will need to see our psychologist first for a preparation appointment at a cost of $150.

  • ADD (without ASD) for adults (16+). Next available appointment late April with Dr Kavita Seth

Note: these patients will need to see our psychologist first for a preparation appointment at a cost of $150.

Soon we will be able to accept referrals for:

  • ADD (with / without ASD) for children (ages 4-9). We are awaiting approval for more psychiatrist who can treat these patients and we can currently put these patients on a waitlist.
  • Note: these patients will need to see our psychologist first for a preparation appointment at a cost of $150.

Please note, that it’s possible we have referrals outside of this scope that we may not be able to assist (e.g. intellectual disability usually needs to be seen in person).

Additionally, Dr Joan Haliburn, our psychiatrist who specialises in Eating Disorders presently has availability within a week.

Last updated 16 April 2024

Is only seeing NEW ADHD (12-18 MONTH WAIT) & autism assessments (booking June) through Perth Paediatrics.  She is no longer working for Dokotela. 

The child does need to be seen through Vishal Maharaj at Perth Paediatrics / Azure Mind first prior to seeing her.   

Note they are not accepting any other psychologist reports for ADHD diagnosis, but are accepting other psychologist reports for autism if this has already been completed.

Last updated 18 March 2024

The NDIS access team has confirmed that a Level 2 or Level 3 autism diagnosis by a clinical psychologist experienced in autism assessments is sufficient evidence of a “List A” condition.

List A conditions are conditions that are likely to meet the disability requirements for access to the NDIS. 

The NDIS only requires consensus of the diagnosis by a paediatrician or psychiatrist IF the report by the psychologist states that an opinion or conferral of the diagnosis is required. 

Then, the NDIS will expect that report at some point in the future to confim diagnosis. 

This is a different requirement from access to the Individual Disability Allocation through the Department of Education.

Updated 16 April 2024.

In recognition of long wait times to see paediatricians and psychiatrists, the WA Department of Education has extended the initial allocation of interim funding for students undertaking an autim assessment from six to 12 months for private assessments and 12 to 18 months for public assessments. 

Updated 16 April 2024.

 

To apply for ongoing Individual Disability Allocation funding for a student with autism, students can be assessed for autism using a Lead Clinician Pathway or a Consensus Team Pathway.

Lead Clinician Pathway

Autism assessment by either a:

paediatrician / psychiatrist / neurologist

OR

a psychologist with practice endorsement in clinical psychology, educational or developmental psychology or neuropsychology 

The Lead Clinician’s diagnosis must be confirmed by at least one diganostician from a different discipline. 

This can be a:

Psychiatrist / Paediatrician or Neurologist

OR 

psychologist with general registration (not applicable if the Lead Clinician is a psychologist)

OR 

a speech pathologist

OR 

an occupational therapist who has experience assessing autism.

Consensus Team Pathway

If a consensus team pathway is taken, the ASD assessment is conducted by either a:

  • medical practitioner with specialist registration in community child health, general paediatrics, psychiatry or neurology
  • psychologist with practice endorsement in clinical psychology, educational or developmental psychology, or neuropsychology.

At least one additional diagnostician from a different discipline is selected to join the diagnostic team.

The decision is based on their skills and expertise and can be:

  • a psychologist with general registration
  • a speech pathologist
  • an occupational therapist who has experience assessing autism.

Updated 16 April 2024.

Western Australians can now use interstate telehealth services and have scripts for stimulant medications filled here after the Schedule 8 Stimulant Prescribing Code was amended in mid-December 2023. 

Read more here.

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