All clinicians that work within CDS are experts in children with developmental and/or learning difficulties. Your child may see one or more clinicians depending on their individual needs. Where possible, our service works in an inter-disciplinary model, which means that regardless of the individual training of our staff, all clinicians can provide a range of developmental health services.
Your young person may be seen by an individual clinician, or a team. Further information about our Clinical Pathways.
The CDS team consists of the following:
For families with children under age 7, the Clinical Intake Officer (CIO) will phone approximately three months after the referral to CDS to ask more detail about your family’s situation and concerns. The CIO will ensure CDS is the right service to address your needs, as well as recommend supports for your family to access whilst on our waitlist.
Your young person may need to see a CDS doctor to assist in identifying an underlying diagnosis that may explain your young person’s developmental concerns, address any associated health concerns, to provide guidance around different interventions including any medications, and to provide ongoing follow up for young people with more complex developmental concerns, in a co-share arrangement with your GP.
Within CDS, the Physiotherapist team see children from birth to school entry where there are concerns regarding motor skill development – particularly gross motor (rolling, sitting, walking, running) and specific movement disorders in infants such as torticollis or reduced neck movement, which often results in plagiocephaly (flattening of the skull).
The Physiotherapists also work in multidisciplinary clinics within the Child Development Service to assist with assessing children as part of a team who may meet criteria for a range of diagnoses.
Psychologists within CDS can conduct assessments with young people and their carers to develop an understanding of why children behave in the way they do. Psychologists will also create a clinical formulation from the presenting concerns that carers have. This may/may not include offering formal diagnoses and determining the reason for any behaviour difficulties.
By gaining a better understanding for why children behave in the way they do, specific targeted treatments to help manage or improve these behavioural and emotional difficulties can be offered. Interventions may involve parenting programs and individual and group treatments that target young people’s behaviour problems, anxiety, mood, social skills, and attachment issues.
Clinical Neuropsychologists are Registered Psychologists who have completed additional specialised training to understand the effects of brain development and injury on a child’s thinking skills, emotional and behavioural functioning. CDS Neuropsychologists provide formal assessments for children/young people presenting with complex developmental and learning concerns, requiring greater understanding of their neurocognitive functioning.
Social Workers provide assessment, intervention and community support agency referral services to children and families that come through CDS. Building on the strengths and resources of families in the context of their physical, social, and cultural environments. Sometimes this means supporting families as they discover, develop or remember their strengths and resources and, at other times, empowering them to develop or access resources.
Speech Language Pathologists assess and treat young people who have difficulty with their communication. This might include difficulties with pronouncing words, listening, understanding language, expressing themselves, reading, writing, social skills, stuttering and using their voice. Our CDS Speech Pathologists also support those who have difficulties swallowing food and drinking safely, as well as eating a range of age-appropriate foods.
At CDS, an Occupational Therapist may support young people and their families with:
- Fine motor skills: using their hands to play with toys, learn to draw and write, cut with scissors, feed themselves with cutlery.
- Self-care skills: learning to dress, use the toilet, organise their belongings, and participate in mealtimes.
- Play: learning to move their bodies, socialise with others, problem solve, use their imagination.
- Sensory processing: learning to understand and manage their response to information from their senses; for example, tolerate eating a range of food and wearing a range of clothing.
- Attention, concentration, regulation, and organisation: regulating themselves to be able to focus and participate in day-to-day activities.
- Assessing young people within multidisciplinary teams who may meet criteria for a range of diagnoses.
Our CDS Nurse Practitioner (NP) is an Advanced Practice Nurse with specialised training. NPs have completed additional university study at the Doctoral or Masters degree level and are the most senior and independent clinical nurses in our health care system. NPs are autonomous providers who work in collaboration with other health practitioners to provide high quality, evidence-based, patient-centred care. Our CDS NP has the expertise and authority to assess, investigate, diagnose, refer and treat young people with a range of neurodevelopmental disorders.
CDS Nurse Navigators (NN) provide a senior level nursing service for young people who have complex health and developmental conditions. These clients require a high degree of comprehensive and coordinated clinical care, with the focus being on the client’s set goals and priorities. The goal of this service is to navigate, advocate, innovate, educate and coordinate care. This is achieved by creating trans-sector partnerships and coordination of health and community services towards improving outcomes.
At CDS, Paediatric Dietitians support babies, young people and their families with advice about meeting their nutrition requirements for appropriate growth and development. Dietitians also provide specialised feeding and dietary advice to help manage specific health conditions or diseases. Access to dieticians is through Gold Coast University Hospital service.
At CDS we are passionate about improving our service so we can provide the best quality care to our families. Our service has a Business Support and Project Officer to help manage and support our clinicians to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate projects in line with our service goals.
Our experienced and friendly Administration team at CDS provide the support necessary to ensure that all patients receive the highest quality care and service. The team oversees the day-to day administrative operations, including greeting patients, managing and updating patient records, making appointments, and performing general administrative duties as required.