Frequently Asked Questions

My family is experiencing a crisis. Does Seedlings provide crisis support?

An assessment at Seedlings Clinic is typically not the first-line intervention when a family or child is experiencing a crisis. Please consult with your healthcare provider for a referral to an appropriate service. We are unable to undertake assessments when there is a crisis affecting the family and the appropriate supports have not been engaged. Often, families need practical and hands-on interventions to manage crises. They also need time to heal with effective counselling or other supports during crises.

Crisis situations include:

- When there are high levels of conflict at home.

- When a child is attempting suicide or self-harm.

- In the immediate aftermath of, or during, family breakdown, separation or divorce.

- When a child has moderate to severe mental health or behavioural issues.

- When there is domestic violence.

- When a child has an unmanaged eating disorder.

Do you provide ongoing therapeutic services for children or parents?

No. Due to the large number of assessment referrals we receive, we are unable to see children or families for ongoing support. After assessment, we refer clients to other services in the community.

If you are not a client of Seedlings Clinic, please consult with your healthcare provider for referral to an appropriate therapeutic service. We are unable to respond to enquiries requesting suggestions for therapeutic service providers. 

How do I tell my child they are having an assessment?

This depends on the age of the child, and the reason for the referral. You might tell them that they will be doing some activities with a 'feelings doctor' to find out 'how their brains work best.'

How long does the assessment take? How many appointments are involved?

The assessment will start with an initial parent appointment, of 50 minutes duration. There, the clinician will ask questions about your child's developmental history, and current behaviour. 

Your child will then attend the clinic two or three times, and may be assessed by one or two clinicians. Each session will be 60 to 80 minutes duration. 

After the child's appointments are completed, there will be a parent feedback session, of 50 minutes duration. The clinician will explain the results of the assessment, and provide recommendations for treatment or support. 

The process will conclude with a written report with recommendations, provided 1 - 2 weeks after the feedback session. This can be shared with the child's school and allied health professionals.

In some instances, a feedback session will be organised for staff at the child's school (via Zoom).

What is involved in my child's assessment sessions? Will I be in the room?

When you and your child arrive at the clinic, they will be greeted by the clinician who will explain in age-appropriate language that they will be completing activities to examine their thinking skills. They will be shown the various toys and items they can choose from during break times.

The assessments we complete are standardised instruments that have explicit administration instructions. This will normally feel like fun games (or at worst, school work) for children. Most of the instruments call for one-to-one administration (i.e. parents not in the same room), unless the child is very young. If your child has separation anxiety, we can adjust the situation so that they are at ease.

Can I change the appointment times?

Please be mindful that the diary fills quickly, there is an extensive waitlist, and freed times from cancellations are rare. If you choose to reschedule appointments due to holidays or other engagements, you may be inconvenienced by an extended wait for an alternate appointment time.

Does my child need a paediatrician's referral to access your services? 

If your child is being assessed for autism or developmental delay, a referral from a paediatrician is required. 

If your child is being assessed for learning difficulties, a referral from the child's school or paediatrician is required. 

If your child requires a neuropsychological assessment, a referral is required from their paediatrician, neurologist, or other specialist. 

Do you assess adolescents and adults?

No. We see children up to 8 years for an autism assessment, and we see children up to 12 years for other assessments. Please consult with your healthcare provider for referral to another service if your child is older. We are unable to respond to enquiries requesting suggestions for services.

What is the cost of an assessment? Can I get a Medicare rebate? Can I use my child's NDIS funds?

The cost of an assessment varies depending on the referral question, and the number of sessions required. Please make an enquiry to find out more. 

Most assessments are not covered by medicare, and you will not receive a medicare rebate. You cannot use a Mental Health Treatment Plan from a GP to obtain rebates for an assessment. If your child is having an autism assessment, you may be entitled to a rebate of approximately $86 per session they attend, if your paediatrician's referral explicitly states the items 82000 or 116.

You may be able to use your child's NDIS funding to cover an assessment, depending on what is included in the plan. Contact your Local Area Coordinator or NDIS contact to clarify. We cannot contact NDIS on your behalf.