If your child has a limb difference you will meet a range of health providers who will work as a team to support your child and achieve the best possible outcome for your child.
Sometimes you will meet with a group of professionals, and at other times with one at a time. It’s important to understand the service and support each professional can offer to your child and your family.
Professionals involved in the care of children with a limb difference
You and your child will probably meet these providers in the children’s hospital in your state or territory.
Paediatric specialists or consultants
Paediatricians’ role is to:
- provide specialist care
- coordinate the team and the clinic
- help you to set goals and decide what’s important in your child’s life
- monitor your child’s growth and development with the rest of the team.
Prosthetists offer advice and measure and fit your child’s prosthesis.
Their role is to:
- assess your child to determine which prosthesis (if any) will best suit their needs and goals
- prescribe and fit the prosthesis
- meet your child for regular reviews and adjustments
- update or modify your child’s prosthesis as they grow.
‘Physios’ may assist your child to use their prosthetic device and will help them to meet their mobility and activity goals.
Commonly referred to as ‘OTs’, their job is to:
- help your child to achieve independence by providing assistance with daily living activity (such as dressing and eating)
- arrange access to assistive technology
- provide functional training to assist children with upper limb differences to use their prosthesis
- assist your child to develop goals and action plans.
Social workers understand how to access services and funding, and:
- provide emotional support and assistance while everyone adjusts to your child’s limb difference
- help with sourcing government assistance
- help with accessing local community support and activities.
Maternal and child health nurses (MCH)
MCH nurses are often available through state government departments or local councils. They provide you with information, guidance and child health support and help while adjusting to parenthood. More information: Maternal Child and Family Health Nurses Australia