Child development, The Children's Hospital at Westmead


Phone: (02) 7825 2395


Location: Children's Assessment Centre, Level 3, Outpatient Building

About our service

The Child Development Unit (CDU) provides tertiary level comprehensive multidisciplinary diagnostic assessment to children with complex developmental problems.

We manage and support developmental disorders including:

  • autism
  • neurodevelopmental disorders requiring neuropsychological assessment
  • global developmental disorders requiring speech pathology and occupational therapy assessments
  • complex learning difficulties associated with comorbidity (having more than one medical condition).

Our service partners with the NSW Department of Education and NSW Health to resource and support the NSW Centre for Effective Reading (CER), a rural and remote program for primary-aged students with significant delays in literacy.

The Child Development Team recognises the complexities faced by children with development difficulties and their families. Our clinic also provides counselling, parent education, information, and support. Referral and connecting with appropriate support and therapy agencies is also offered.

For more information and support regarding accessing local services and support contact the Child Development Unit and ask to speak with the Intake Officer.

Referral process for clinicians

Our department is using Consultmed to manage referrals. The Consultmed platform allows health professionals to send e-referrals to us securely.   

Consultmed questions and technical support:

Referral and appointment process for parents and carers

Request a referral

To make an appointment at our clinic, you will need a referral from your paediatrician or specialist. 

They will assess your child, discuss your concerns, and make a referral to the appropriate service.  

Please see your paediatrician for a referral. We do not accept phone referrals. 

The referral needs to include the following information:

  • letter addressed to the relevant consultant/clinican
  • clear statement of goals of assessment
  • previous primary and secondary services information /reports.

Intake details and priority will be assessed before an appointment is made. 

Track your referral

Our department uses Consultmed to manage referrals. Your referring paediatrician sends the e-referral to us using the secure Consultmed platform.  

Once we receive the referral, we will send you an email with your tracking information. We will update you as we process the referral and book your appointment. 

To receive these updates, please ask your referring paediatrician to include your email on the referral.  

If your clinician has questions about Consultmed or require technical support, they can contact  

Need support?

If you need help or have questions about the referral and appointment process, please contact us.  

Phone: (02) 7825 2395


Clinic information

Child Development Unit

Clinic details

  • Where: Children's Assessment Centre, Level 3, Outpatient Building
  • When: Monday to Friday from 8am to 4:30pm

PECAT (Early Childhood Assessment Team)

The Parramatta Early Childhood Assessment Team (PECAT) provides a diagnostic and assessment service for children under six years of age who are not at school.

Developmental, intellectual, functional and health assessments are made for children who have or are suspected of having a global developmental delay or intellectual disability.

PECAT is a tertiary service for individuals who live in Western Sydney, as defined by the Parramatta, Holroyd, Auburn, Blacktown and Hills Local Government Areas.

The service is operated by The Children's Hospital at Westmead and aims to:

  • identify factors that impact on a child's development
  • provide support throughout assessment and diagnosis
  • recognise and diagnose disorders such as autism
  • document a child's level of development looking at strengths and weaknesses
  • help the client, family and other professionals in the planning of interventions and services
  • consult with the patient and family for health, development or behavioural concerns related to the disability

Location: Auburn Community Health Centre, Norval Street (corner Hevington Road), Auburn.

Phone: (02) 9891 7200

Hours: 9 am-4 pm, Monday to Friday


Patient and family resources

It is important to have a local doctor or general practitioner (GP) to support you with the day to day needs of your child and with whom you feel comfortable, and who listens to you and your family. 

Make sure you continue to see your child’s Pediatrician every 6 to 12 months for ongoing review of your child’s development and specialist management. 

Hospital passport

The hospital passport is a way of providing health staff with person-centered information about the child or young person with intellectual disability, Autism or developmental disability, to assist them to access a health care appointment or admission. 

This information will help staff to adjust care plans or use reasonable adjustments to engage your child in the health encounter and prepare for their arrival. 

Story resources

Use this resource to help orientate your child when they are coming to an appointment with us.

Support agencies

Autism Spectrum Australia (Aspect)

Aspect is Australia’s largest service provider for people on the autism spectrum. They provide an evidence informed schools program, information and advice, diagnostic assessments, behaviour support and parent and family support. 

Carer Gateway 

Carer Gateway is a national online and phone service that provides practical information about services and supports to carers, emergency respite, provides free counseling services over the phone and connection with other carers through a community forum.

Phone: 1800 422 737

Carers NSW 

Carers NSW provides information, education and training, resources and referrals to support carers.

Phone: (02) 9280 4744

Family Connect and Support service 

Family Connect and Support service helps to work out what are the family’s needs and support to find the right service. 

This information may be accessed through Barnardos Australia on:

Learning Difficulties Coalition for parents 

LDC is a not-for-profit organisation providing support and information about children (5-18 yrs) with learning difficulties and related conditions. 

Parent Line

Parent Line NSW a free telephone counselling and support service for parents and carers with children aged 0 to 18 who live in NSW.

Phone: 1300 1300 52 (9am – 9pm Monday to Friday, 4pm – 9pm weekends)

Raising Children Network

Australian parenting website providing information on child development. 

Relationships Australia

Relationships Australia provides relationship support services for individuals, families and communities, including counselling for individuals, couples and families, and parenting and relationship education.

Phone: 1300 364 277

Siblings Australia 

Siblings Australia provides direct support to siblings and works with parents and service providers to better support siblings.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) 

The NDIS supports children with a developmental delay or disability to get therapy and supports. The early childhood approach helps children younger than 6 with developmental delay or children younger than 9 with disability, and their families and carers to access the right support when they need it. 

Early intervention (such as speech pathology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy) is the best way to support children to develop the skills they need to take part in daily activities and achieve the best possible outcomes throughout their lives. 

For children aged nine and above, a Local Area Coordinator (LAC) will be work with a person with a disability, parents or carers and be your main contact point for the NDIS.  

Phone: 1800 800 110

Last updated Monday 13th May 2024

Patient and family support

A smiling Aboriginal family.
Our Aboriginal Hospital Liaison and Education officers play an important role in the care and welfare of and advocacy for Aboriginal patients and families, helping ensure a responsive and respectful patient journey.
A young girl sits on her mother's lap on a hostpital bed.
We can arrange a free interpreter for you. Interpreters are available for over 50 languages. Tell us which language you speak when your child is admitted, or let your nurse know.
A mother holds her baby as she uses her smartphone.
The Cartula Health app helps manage and inform you about your healthcare journey at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network. You can organise your appointments and hospital documents all in one place!