- What can I do if I have concerns about my child?
- What happens after a referral is made?
- How long will this process take?
- Is there any other way to obtain a diagnosis?
What can I do if I have concerns about my child?
Frequently parents don’t suspect a problem with the development of their child until 18 months to 2 years or older. Initially, if your child is still being seen by the Child Development Team at your local Health Centre, you should express your concerns to them and ask for a referral to a Developmental Paediatrician.
If your child is older, you can go to your GP and ask for the same referral.
If deemed necessary you may firstly be referred to a hearing specialist to rule out other developmental delays associated with language and communication disorders including deafness.
What happens after a referral is made?
If appropriate, your child will be referred to an Assessment Team, sometimes located within the Health Service Child and Family Centres, or sometimes within a hospital. This team is typically made up of a Clinical Psychologist, Speech and Language Therapist, Occupational Therapist and Social Worker.
The Psychologist and Therapists will then conduct an assessment of your child using recognized diagnostic assessment tools coupled with their observations of the child’s behaviours.
How long will this process take?
Currently the waiting lists in Ireland are anything from 9 to 18 months before your child can be seen for assessment. When seen, the diagnostic procedure can take another few months with the Therapists wishing to work with the child on several occasions.
Is there any other way to obtain a diagnosis?
If you wish you can obtain a diagnosis privately. A Clinical Psychologist, Educational Psychologist or Psychiatrist can reach a diagnosis using recognized diagnostic assessment tools. A private diagnosis will enable your child to access recommended educational supports and resources, and can be used to claim benefits such as Domiciliary Care allowance. You will still however want to be certain to obtain a diagnosis through the HSE to enable you to access their therapy services.