Only ring for an appointment when I am consulting. My secretary does not work at other times. Unfortunately, there is a wait to see me, and a waiting list is kept. Priority is given to patients already previously seen.
If a report is required for NDIS funding or a report needed for school, please make that known when booking and always at the start of a consultation. So often the request is made at the end of a consultation when leaving, “can I have a report for NDIS please”.
If a formal diagnosis is needed especially for Autism of learning problems, then formal assessments from either the school councilor or a psychologists must be available before this can be done. There are many reliable Autism assessment and/or cognitive assessment screening tools. I do not do these assessments just as I do not do X rays or blood tests.
A consultation to help with a problem is different in structure to formally assessing whether a condition meets the strict definition required for a NDIS assessment. A diagnosis for something as complex as autism cannot be made in one or two consultations.
NDIS funding is for the extra help that can be provided by Psychologists, occupational therapists, speech therapist and support workers. If, as I am frequently asked, am asked to suggest interventions, I need guidelines from those who will provide the interventions on what they are able to provide and what it will achieve.
If I am unsure of why a child has come to see me, I try to clarify this at the start of the consultation. Then I have a goal to work to. If I am unable to help, I will stop seeing them and/or look to refer to somewhere else that might help. I minimise the disruption to stressed parents of having to come and see me. Often it is not clear why I am asked to recommend NDIS funding. Parents sometimes tell me that they see no gain from the interventions and that the time demands to attend these appointments are negatively impacting the parents and other siblings. They are relieved to have permission to stop.