At Eyecare Kids, we want to make sure that all our patients are getting the best care possible. Sometimes, this may involve collaboration with other health professionals. Within the health services, there are many professions with different specialties and sometimes we must call on them for their expertise depending on the needs of each child.
Some important health professions involved with children, learning & development include:
Optometrists are often the first point of professional contact for people experiencing problems with their eyes or have difficulty seeing. Optometrists have a unique role in providing accessible and vital eye care to the community. Apart from general medical practice, optometry is the only profession to have its consultations covered by Medicare without the need for a referral.
Optometrists are experts in: the optics of lenses, eye health, binocular vision and visual performance. They assess, diagnose and manage ocular diseases, injuries and disorders across a wide range of patients. Where clinically necessary, optometrists prescribe spectacles, contact lenses and devices for the visually impaired.
A Vision Therapist understands disorders involving the movement and teaming of the eyes such as turned eyes, focusing problems, eye movement disorders and lazy eyes. Vision Therapy is a supervised, non-surgical and customized program of visual activities designed to correct certain vision problems and/or improve visual skills with the overall aim to relieve symptoms and improve vision.
Ophthalmologists are doctors who specialize in eye disease. They are highly skilled in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the eye and associated structures. Treatment can be delivered either medically or surgically. Optometrists are able to refer to Ophthalmologists directly in the same way that a GP can refer you to a specialist.
When dealing with children, there are specialised paediatric ophthalmologists who our optometrists at Eyecare Kids can refer you to.
Speech pathologists work with children and adults with communication difficulties. These difficulties may be present from birth, may arise during development, or may be acquired later in life due to injury or a medical condition. Speech pathology or speech therapy is the diagnosis and management of these individuals who are unable to communicate effectively or who have difficulty feeding and swallowing.
Speech pathologists are experts in all aspects of communication, including speech, writing, reading, signs, symbols and gestures.
Occupational therapy (OT) is a profession concerned with promoting health and well-being through occupation. OT treatment focuses on helping people with physical, sensory or cognitive disability be as independent as possible in all areas of their lives.
Occupational therapists help their clients cope with demands, adapt to tasks, and overcome challenges in their everyday lives. This can involve helping children achieve their developmental milestones such as fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, as well as educating and involving parents, carers and others to facilitate the normal development and learning of children.
Educational and developmental psychologists provide assistance to children and adolescents with learning and developmental issues. They conduct assessments in order to address concerns about school performance, determine cognitive and academic strengths and weaknesses and to identify learning problems, learning disabilities, attention problems and giftedness.
Typically, educational and developmental psychologists have studied a postgraduate degree in educational psychology. In addition, most have had experience working in schools.