The Doctors at CDN are Paediatricians who have focused their training and experience in the area of Developmental Paediatrics. This page begins with an explanation of Paediatrics generally, then the specialised area of Developmental Paediatrics.
A Paediatrician has completed training as a medical doctor, then undertaken further specialised training in the medical care of children. The specialty training program is supervised by the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, so we have the same specialty qualification as physicians who see adults.
Paediatricians take referrals from primary care doctors (General Practitioners) for medical problems that children experience, such as asthma, diarrhoea, seizures and poor growth. After completing training as General Paediatricians we can continue to practice as generalists, or specialise further in areas such as Cardiology, Neurology, Gastroenterology and Neonatal Intensive Care.
Developmental Paediatricians have specialty interest, training and experience in the development of children: how they grow, how they acquire knowledge and skills, how they learn to behave and socialise. We use our training to understand children from a medical point of view, in order to determine the reasons for different problems of development and behaviour.
We can then use this knowledge to help others (parents, teachers) understand children — what they can and cannot do, the reasons for the current difficulties, and provide a sense of what the future may hold.
Our major work is to support and guide parents in the journey of raising their children to achieve the best development and mental health/wellbeing by the time they become adults. This may include the use of medical treatments (such as medication), diagnosis (e.g. for school system), advocacy (to help others understand children and adapt their expectations) and specific recommendations regarding treatments and therapies.
We like to achieve this by being pro-active, working towards the best development possible rather than waiting for problems to occur and responding after they do.
Developmental paediatrics now has a professional organisation — the Neurodevelopmental and Behavioural Paediatric Society of Australasia (NBPSA). This society began in 2014, and has grown quickly to include doctors from New Zealand and SE Asia. The CDN was very active in the formation of the NBPSA, with Dr Michael McDowell as the Foundation President, and Dr Jane Lesslie the Foundation Secretary.