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Developmental Paediatrics and Neurodisability experience

Harper House offers a multi-disciplinary approach to diagnostic and management issues in children with a wide range of disabilities. The team has particular interest and experience in the diagnostic and management problems of children with social communication disorders, specific and general learning disabilities, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorders, developmental co-ordination disorders and Tourette’s syndrome.  The experience and variety of professionals in the team ensures assessment tailored to the specific needs of individual children.  The Service places as much value on outreach work in schools and homes as on clinic-based assessments carried out at Harper House itself. 

In this post I have acquired:

  • Diagnostic, investigative and communication skills.
  • Knowledge and skills in the area of many aspects of social communication disorder, specific learning difficulties, developmental co-ordination disorder and other developmental disorders for example, and childhood epilepsy attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and conduct disorder. I have gained experience of the cognitive, language and behavioural difficulties that these children experience and their particular needs in terms of educational, social and other interventions, for example, art and music therapy.
  • Expertise in the comprehensive assessment and management of children with autistic spectrum disorder; psychopharmacological management of certain developmental disorders; and techniques for assessing children with multiple disabilities. 
  • An understanding of service delivery and service development issues in the area of child disability (for example, multi-agency approaches to problem-solving; appropriate interfacing between different levels of service within the NHS; appropriate appraisal of the cost-effectiveness of services offered to referrers and purchasers).
  • Direct liaison experience with primary, secondary and other levels of care.
  • Familiarity with the legal, philosophical and practical issues relating to the education of children with special needs.
  • This experience has been based on knowledge and skills previously acquired in the following areas and, unless otherwise stated, across all posts held.

Neurology/Neurodisability

  • Knowledge and experience in treating complex epilepsy.
  • Wide experience in neurodisabiliy at presentation and in long-term management.
  • Exposure to more general neurological problems, communication disorders neuropsychiatric problems and behaviour problems.
  • Participation and chairing of a multidisciplinary team involving health and non-health professionals. 
  • Liaison with statutory agencies.
  • Clinical responsibility for a special school (severe learning difficulties).  Involvement in the process of transition to adult services.
  • Responsibility for a secondary referral clinic in the community.
  • Comprehensive assessments with the formulation of management plan the children with special needs referred by GPs, CMOs, SCMOs and Health Visitors.

Social Paediatrics

  • Experience in the assessment of children with all forms of child abuse. Report writing for Social Services Departments, Courts and Police.
  • Senior backup advisor for registrars on child protection work.
  • Assessment of health needs of children being placed for adoption, and of looked-after children.
  • Medical representative in the adoption panel meetings.
  • Responsibility for the development of a child protection pro-forma for use by medical staff at Hillingdon Hospital.

Child Psychiatry

Child Psychiatry training has been obtained by half-day release over six-months at the department of Child Psychiatry, St Mary’s Hospital with Professor Garralda enabling:

  • Attendance at assessments of children with a variety of child psychiatric problems.
  • Good exposure to complex and severe behavioural problems.
  • Co-management of children with neuropsychiatric disorders.