Clinic Profiles

Multidisciplinary Clinics

Autism, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability, Global Developmental Delay, Mental Health Disorders

PATCHES has specialist expertise in the assessment, diagnosis and therapy support of children and young people with the presence and cause of neurodevelopment impairment and disability, whether it be related to FASD, genetic conditions, early life and ongoing trauma, injury or other neurodevelopmental conditions. PATCHES run multidisciplinary clinics for diagnosis of FASD, Autism, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, Global Developmental Delay, Intellectual Impairment, Mental Health Disorders in the clinical process.

These clinics are run across multiple locations including: UWA, PATCHES Nedlands and St John of God Midland, please see our calendar for upcoming clinic dates.

 

Outreach Clinics 
The PATCHES Clinic draws together existing health staff in local organisations to provide multidisciplinary clinics in regional and remote locations. We will bring a team including a Paediatrician, Aboriginal Therapist, Speech Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, and Neuropsychologist to a single location. (e.g. Baya Gawiy Child and Family Centre, or remote community schools).

These clinics are run across multiple locations including: Port Hedland, Broome, Derby. Fitzroy Crossing, Kununurra, Darwin please see our calendar for upcoming clinic dates.

The aims of this model are to:

  • Ensure the child and family are active partners in decisions relating to health and education.
  • Provide a team based approach by having all professionals in one place at one time.
  • Improve communication between health and education services.

 

Therapy Programs 

More than diagnosis, PATCHES is committed to delivering evidence-based therapy and support for children and young people with developmental or disability issues, working within a systems approach that values family, community and context. We believe that early diagnosis of developmental delay or disability, and early intervention and support, will help children and families to reach their true potential. The PATCHES model includes up-skilling local health staff, case-workers, teachers and parents, and providing Telehealth support. If clients choose PATCHES as their partner for ongoing therapy and support, we provide this in the home, school or community environment. In partnership with families, schools and other service providers, we deliver goal-oriented, evidence-based therapy and support programs, and evaluate these through a research partnership with Telethon Kids Institute, a leading Western Australian research institute.

PATCHES is able to deliver therapy in the Kimberley as a registered service provider for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (WA-NDIS).

PATCHES is able to deliver therapy programs for children, adolescents, parents and carers. For more information on these please click on the links below and see our referrals page to refer to these programs:

The Carer support program can be delivered as a 2 day group facilitated training workshop for parents, carers, educators or health professionals.

 

A multidisciplinary team draws on the skills and expertise of many health professionals, including:

Paediatricians
Paediatricians are doctors for children, with special training in child health, development and medical problems. They look at how kids and teenagers are growing and learning and whether any health problems might be affecting them.

They do the doctor things: look in kid’s ears, listen to their hearts, check for skin problems and sometimes organise blood tests and imaging like X-rays if we need more information.
Paediatricians also talk to families about how kids have grown and developed over time and how we can help them be the healthiest, strongest and smartest they can be.

 

Occupational Therapists
Occupational Therapists (OTs) are trained to help families and schools to support children to develop skills in self-care, play, school and leisure activities, so that they become more independent and can participate alongside others.

OTs help children develop the physical skills they need to perform certain tasks, including: Self-care skills: dressing, learning to feed, brushing teeth. Fine motor skills: using their hands, for example for drawing, cutting shapes, handwriting. Play: to learn skills appropriate for their age and to play with others. Sensory skills: including attention, concentration, body awareness and sensitivities to touch, noise or movement.

OTs can recommend treatments using exercises, play, everyday activities, or specialised equipment.

 

Speech / Language Pathologists
Speech Pathologists are trained to work with people who have communication and swallowing problems. Speech Pathologists study and assess the problem. They give advice, therapy and find the right tools for children and families.

Some problems might include difficulties with: speech, language, eating, drinking, stuttering, voice, and learning to read and write. Communication and swallowing problems may come about for lots of reasons such as: natural delays when growing up, stroke, head injuries, learning disability, and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).

Speech Pathologists work in schools, hospitals or clinics, people’s homes and in aged care facilities.

 

Physiotherapists
Physiotherapists are trained to assess and treat problems with how the body moves. They look particularly at movement, coordination, and posture. There are many difficulties that children may experience that might impact on their movement, including prematurity or developmental delay, genetic conditions, cerebral palsy, and respiratory problems.

Physiotherapists work with children and families and can recommend treatments using exercises, play, and special equipment.

 

Psychologists
Psychologists are experts in human behaviour, having studied the brain, memory, learning, human development and the processes determining how people think, feel, behave and react. Psychologists apply their expertise using reliable and scientifically supported methods.  Psychologists also offer a wide range of therapies, including techniques to help manage emotions and behaviour, and techniques to help parents to coach their children to learn new skills.

Clinical Psychologists are trained to assess and diagnose a wide range of difficulties, particularly related to how people feel and think. Clinical psychologists who work with children can offer assessments that help families and schools understand more about how a child may be thinking, and what might be making learning or behaviour more difficult.

Neuropsychologists specialise in brain behaviour relationships and how for example, thinking problems may affect a person’s functioning at home, school or work. Paediatric Neuropsychologists have advanced skills in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment planning of a range of childhood disorders. They are trained to understand the cognitive, emotional and behavioural effects of a wide range of conditions, including developmental, epileptic, psychiatric, degenerative, infectious, metabolic, structural and traumatic. Their skills are underpinned by knowledge of brain structure, function and dysfunction, and the effects of multiple factors on cognitive, behavioural and emotional functioning.

Only nationally registered Psychologists with a recognised specialisation in Neuropsychology have the proper expertise to conduct a neuropsychological assessment. They should be a member, or eligible for Full Membership, with the College of Clinical Neuropsychologists (Australian Psychological Society: APS). In addition, a PaediatricNeuropsychologist should have advanced training and experience with working with children and adolescents.

Neuropsychological assessment provides a detailed profile of the child’s strengths and weaknesses, and is recognized as a sensitive tool for the diagnosis of cognitive (thinking) impairment, particularly in cases where changes are subtle and not evident on screening assessments or neuroimaging. It helps with diagnosis and treatment planning for children experiencing difficulties with memory, attention, learning, language, executive functioning (e.g. problem solving, planning & organisation) or other aspects of thinking or behavior. Because neuropsychological conditions can worsen or improve with time and treatment, neuropsychological assessment is valued as providing a baseline for future comparison of changes over time. It can also be used in predicting and enhancing social, educational and vocational outcomes. Neuropsychological assessments involve a clinical interview and a range of individually administered tests. The results of the assessment are then used to assist with developing individual treatment recommendations or plans. A neuropsychological assessment can therefore help plan a child’s rehabilitation programme by identifying their strengths and weaknesses. They are also used for decision making about a child’s school placement and other areas of their life (for example, play, social activities and study or career choices).

 

Aboriginal Therapists
Aboriginal Therapists are Aboriginal people who are experts in how Aboriginal communities and families operate and communicate. They act as cultural guides for the clinical team, as well as interpreters and advocates for children and families. They provide an important link between clinicians and families, so that messages can be communicated clearly, and so that therapies make sense within the family setting.

Aboriginal Therapists are also trained to assist in the many assessments that therapists use, and importantly in delivering therapies and teaching families how to keep going with therapies… helping people to help themselves.

 

Nurses
Nurses are the backbone of any health team, and are trained to connect with children and families, and help them with the important health assessments and therapies. They focus on the building blocks of health and education, including growth, hearing, vision and developmental milestones. They are expert coordinators, and help to connect with families and schools before, during and after clinics are run.

Nurses will provide their service everywhere, including in the home, at school, in hospitals or clinics, and in the community.