Melbourne Paediatric Specialists

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Developmental and Behavioural Paediatrics

What is Paediatric Rehabilitation Medicine?

A Paediatric Rehabilitation Specialist Doctor assesses and treats children and young people with limitations in function or disability.

Areas of functioning evaluated include mobility, self-care, communication, family life and community interaction along with the psychological and social consequences which may result from limitations in function. The comfort of the child or young person and ease of care of the person by others are also important aspects of functioning which are assessed and managed.

The aim of Rehabilitation Medicine is to allow the child or young person to function at the fullest level they are capable of in physical, mental, social, educational and vocational domains.

Common Conditions

Limitation in function or disability can result from a number of causes, such as a disease or injury and includes conditions which are present from birth or acquired later in life. As such, the group of conditions seen by Rehabilitation Medicine Specialists is very broad.

Some common conditions benefiting from Rehabilitation Medicine care include:

  • cerebral palsy
  • acquired brain injury (including traumatic brain injuries, strokes and other causes of brain injury)
  • spinal cord injury and disease
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • recovery from major orthopaedic surgery
  • recovery from significant burns
  • reconditioning after major medical illness
  • limb amputation or limb deficiency from birth.

Rehabilitation Medicine Specialists may recommend various interventions, including the involvement of allied health professionals, such as a Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist, Speech and Language Therapist, Psychologist or Education Consultants and work closely with these professionals.

They may prescribe medications, recommend adaptive devices or modifications to the environment of the child or young person. Paediatric Rehabilitation Specialists are trained in the administration of Botulinum toxin (“Botox”) injections for the management of increased muscle tone.

Associate Professor Adam Scheinberg and Dr Monika Hasnat are Paediatric Rehabilitation Specialists practicing at Melbourne Paediatric Specialists.