Development and Behaviour

Development and Behaviour

Development and behaviour in childhood is affected by many factors. Children who require support for their development and behaviour are often generally healthy but may require additional support to meet their individual needs. The assessment, diagnosis and management of behavioural and developmental conditions is a complex process and can take a long time to collect all of the information needed to best support your child.

If you are concerned about your child’s behaviour or development, the first step is to discuss your concerns with your general practitioner. If needed, the GP will make a referral to your closest paediatric clinic. These are located at the Royal Hobart Hospital, Launceston General Hospital, North West Regional Hospital (Burnie) and Mersey Hospital (Latrobe). The referral should include details about your child’s current needs, a detailed history of concerns, copies of any previous assessments or relevant school reports and outline any previous interventions.

Your referral will be sent to the relevant service for triage and you will be contacted when an appointment is available.

Who we care for

We provide assessment, diagnosis monitoring and support referrals for allied health intervention to meet the health-related needs of children with behavioural and developmental challenges living in Tasmania.

The people who support you and the way in which you are supported will be tailored to your child’s needs.

Your development and behaviour team usually begins with

Child (you) and family/caregiver Children, their families and caregivers are valued members of our health care team. You have a unique view on how your family works and the impact that behavioural and developmental challenges have on your everyday life. We create management plans with your input.
General practitioner (GP) Your GP takes care of your general health needs within the community. They often provide initial assessment and can refer to a paediatrician if more specialised care is required. Your GP can provide care in between more specialist appointments and assist with prescriptions and community care plans/action plans for your family or school. They will receive updates from other professionals.
Paediatric registrar The paediatric registrar is a doctor training to become a specialist such as a paediatrician or endocrinologist. Once they have met with you they report back to the paediatrician or relevant specialist.
Paediatrician Your paediatrician is a key member of your health care team, they provide specialist medical care and look at your health holistically. Your paediatrician often takes the lead in providing a diagnosis or organizes referrals for tests or assessment with other health professionals.

Depending on individual needs the following health professional may also provide care

Paediatric nurse A paediatric nurse may help to gather supporting information, complete pre-assessment work up and meet with you to perform a clinical assessment.
Psychologist A psychologist works with the child and family to understand the impact developmental and behavioural challenges have on your life. They provide assessments, therapy and recommendations for support.
Occupational therapist (OT) Occupational therapists help people to participate in activities they find meaningful and daily activities that they need to do.  These activities include self-care (such as mealtimes or getting dressed), play, learning, school, work, leisure, hobbies and spending time with friends and family.  Occupational therapists assess and assist with movement, thinking, sensory processing and equipment.
Speech pathologist Speech pathologists are experts in speaking, language and communication. They can also help with assessment and therapy around feeding and swallowing.
Physiotherapist Physiotherapists are experts in musculoskeletal assessment and treatment. They can help with motor skills (such as walking), joint problems, pain and fatigue.
Dietitian The dietitian will assist in the assessment and management of your nutritional needs related to your condition. They will talk to you about your diet and make recommendations to support your health and growth.
Family support services Some families may require increased support through a community organisation due to the complexity of their situation or other vulnerabilities.

How to access the development and behaviour clinic

A general practitioner or paediatrician referral is required. Referrals can be sent to your local clinic by following the directions on the Department of Health, Tasmania's outpatient clinics website.

Other supports >>

School Through the education department, schools can access extra support or services to meet health and disability needs. It is important to discuss any individual requirements with school staff.
Child Health and Parenting Service (CHaPS) CHaPS provide child health and parenting information, support, assessment and advice.  Services provided include completion of age related growth and developmental assessments from 2 weeks to 4 years of age and assistance with breastfeeding/feeding issues, nutrition, sleep and settling, post-natal depression and wellbeing, child-parent communication and behaviour management. Services are provided from a range of locations including CHaPS clinics, Child and Family Centres and Parenting Centres.

CHaPS work in partnership with families of children 0-5 years of age and aim to enhance the health and wellbeing of all young children in Tasmania, through supporting their parents to understand their child’s growth and development needs.

CHaPS can be contacted on 1300 064 544

Family Support Services

(strong families safe kids)

Some families may require increased support through a community organisation due to the complexity of their situation or other vulnerabilities.
St Giles St. Giles are a state-wide organisation that have a range of allied health professionals offering community-based therapy and other disability services.
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Depending on your child’s needs, they may be eligible for NDIS funding for disability support and equipment.

Contact us >>

SouthNorth North West

Royal Hobart Hospital
Paediatric Outpatients
Lower Ground
Argyle Street Hobart Tas 7000

Phone: (03) 6166 0000
Fax: (03) 6173 0469

Launceston General Hospital
Paediatric and Adolescent Outpatient Clinics
Level 3
Charles Street Launceston Tas 7250

Phone: (03) 6777 5247
Fax (03) 6777 5242

North West Regional Hospital
Paediatric Outpatients
Brickport Road Burnie Tas 7320

Phone: (03) 6493 6300
Fax: (03) 6464 1928

Mersey Community Hospital
Torquay Road Latrobe Tas 7307

Phone: (03) 6478 5219
Fax: (03) 6441 5928

Disclaimer: this website contains general health information and does not replace the advice of a health professional.

Always contact ‘000’ in an emergency.

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