Your views on the information that families need - would you like to take part in our study?

Please click here to share your thoughts.

The professionals you may meet

Some of the professionals that you meet may be members of the Early Intervention Team and others work in hospital or community services.

You will find a brief description below of the roles of various professionals who work with children with disabilities. Since every child has different needs each family will meet a variety of different professionals.

Sometimes the professionals are known by various titles so you will see that the same service can be provided by different professionals. 

The list below includes professionals that you may come across, but you wont need to meet all of these people!

Audiologist:

An audiologist helps in diagnosing, treating and monitoring hearing needs, loss or impairment.

Cardiologist:

A cardiologist is a specialist doctor who identifies and treats heart problems.

Clinical Nurse Specialist:

There are different types of Clinical Nurse Specialists working in different areas including in hospitals and Early Services Teams. Within Early Services Teams, the Clinical Nurse Specialist works with your family and the other therapists to help your child gain skills to promote their overall development.

The Clinical Nurse Specialist can assist your child in the areas of physical skills, learning through play, communication, social/emotional skills and everyday independence skills. They may liaise with others working with your child i.e. therapists or preschool teachers. In some services they may also be called an Educator, or an Early Years Interventionist.

Early Years Interventionist:

Early Years Interventionists have training in child development and learning. They work with your family and the other therapists to help your child gain skills to promote their overall development. They can assist your child in the areas of physical skills, learning through play, communication, social/emotional skills and everyday independence skills. They may liaise with others working with your child i.e. therapists or preschool teachers. In some services they may also be called an Educator, or a Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon:

An Ear Nose and Throat Surgeon is a doctor who specialises in problems related to a child’s ears, nose or throat.

Educator:

Educators working on Early Intervention Teams have training in child development and learning. They work with your family and the other therapists to help your child gain skills to promote their overall development. They can assist your child in the areas of physical skills, learning through play, communication, social/emotional skills and everyday independence skills. They may liaise with others working with your child i.e. therapists or preschool teachers. In some Early Intervention services they may also be called a Clinical Nurse Specialist or an Early Years Interventionist.

General Practitioner (GP):

A General Practitioner is a medical doctor who specialises in family medicine and provides primary care in the community.

Home/Family Support Worker:

A home/family support worker provides additional support to you in caring for your child. This may take the form of minding your child in the home or by taking your child to appropriate activities in the community.

Neurosurgeon:

A Neurolosurgeon is a doctor who specialises in surgery on the brain, spine, and other parts of the nervous system. A Neurosurgeon may carry out surgery on problems diagnosed before birth, in infancy, childhood, or adulthood.

Occupational Therapist:

An Occupational Therapist (or ‘OT’) can help your child increase their level of independence starting with reaching, grasping, picking up small objects, and working on other skills such as feeding, dressing and toileting. They may also work on co-ordination, sensory and other issues. An Occupational Therapist is able to assist your family in obtaining specialised equipment that may be needed by you or your child.

Ophthalmologist:

An Ophthalmologist is a doctor who specialises in the medical and surgical care of the eyes and visual system. The Ophthalmologist also works in the prevention of eye disease and injury.

Orthoptist:

An Orthoptist is a health care professional who assesses, diagnoses and manages various disorders of the eyes including extra-ocular muscles (e.g. squint) and problems with vision (e.g. lazy eye /amblyopia). Orthoptists work in closely with Ophthalmologists.

Orthopaedic Surgeons:

An Orthopaedic Surgeon is a doctor who specialises in disorders of the musculoskeletal system. They can review spinal, joint and muscle problems and treat by surgical and non-surgical means.

Orthotist:

An orthotist is a specialist in the design, manufacture and fitting of aids, splints and equipment in children and adults to help improve mobility and provide support e.g. splints and special shoes.

Paediatrician:

A Paediatrician is a specialist doctor who deals with the health of children. The Paediatrician may have a special interest in a particular area such as neonatology (the care of newborn infants), neurology (the nervous system) or child development. In the disability field, the Paediatrician carries out medical investigations, makes diagnoses and monitors your child’s health and overall development.

Physiotherapist:

The Physiotherapist (or ‘PT’) can help your child with balance and movement and works on activities such as rolling, sitting, crawling, and walking. They look at ways of encouraging your child’s independence and mobility. A Physiotherapist may also assist in making recommendations for specialised equipment.

Psychologist:

A clinical or educational Psychologist assesses children’s thinking, learning and behaviour. Psychological assessments teach us about how the child’s condition or diagnosis affects his/her overall development and wellbeing. The Psychologist addresses behavioural concerns and offers support which may help with your child’s overall developmental progress. Later, the Psychologist can support the family in making decisions concerning appropriate pre-school and school placements.

Public Health Nurse:

A Public Health Nurse (PHN) may help and support you with your child at home. This can involve offering practical or nursing support or by obtaining health related supplies e.g. nappies. Public Health Nurses are employed by the HSE and are based in your local Health Centre.

Rehabilitation Officer for the Visually Impaired:

The Rehabilitation Officer for people with vision impairment carries out an assessment of how a child’s vision loss affects their daily life and what supports might be needed to improve the child’s overall independence and quality of life. Based on this assessment the Rehabilitation Officer will make recommendations on the services and supports that may be needed. 
 

Social Worker:

Many Early Intervention Teams include a Social Worker. The Social Worker is often the first person to introduce the family to the other members of the Early Intervention Team. A Social Worker can provide information, advice and family support. They can provide support and counselling for you and your family in relation to coping with your child's disability. The Social Worker can help you identify, source and access services in your local community that may be helpful.

Speech & Language Therapist:

A Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) helps your child to communicate. This may involve working on your child’s understanding of language i.e. the words and sentences used around him/her, using language to express him/herself , the sounds of speech or on alternate and augmentative methods of communication.

The speech and language therapist may also work with your child to develop communication skills such as turn taking, eye contact and use of gesture. A speech and language therapist may also work with your child if he/she has oral-motor or feeding problems. The speech and language therapist may work directly with your child or indirectly through the parent/s.


Other professionals who may be involved with your child

 

Assessment of Need Officers:

Under legislation, all children with a disability under 5 years are entitled to an independent assessment of their health and education needs. Each Local Health Office has an Assessment Officer. He/she can assist you with your child's application, arranges for the assessment to be carried out and help and support you through the process. The Assessment Officer is responsible for issuing your child's assessment report.

Click here to find out more about the Assessment of Need process

Assessment of Need Liaison Officer/ Case Manager:

When your child’s Assessment of Need is complete, a Liaison Officer/ Case Manager will prepare a service statement for you. The service statement will say what services and supports will be provided to your child and by whom.

Click here to find out more about the Assessment of Need process 

 

Page Details:
Author: Informing Families Information Working Group
Date Created 1 October 2009

 

 

 

Snippet Content 5

Health Service Executive Logo Health Services National Partnership Forum Logo National Federation of Voluntary Bodies Logo 
 

  • Informing Families Project, National Federation of Voluntary Bodies,  Oranmore Business Park,  Oranmore, Galway
  • Phone: +353 (091) 792316
  • Fax: +353 (091) 792317
  • Email: info@informingfamilies.ie
© 2017 Informing Families

Search

Search - Use spaces to separate your keywords
03  Thumbnail1