Shepparton paediatrician Dr Peter Eastaugh does free clinics at three primary schools to diagnose and treat children's behavioural problems.JOHN LEWIS March 11, 2014 4:55am
In a disturbing indictment of our public health system, a Shepparton paediatrician says hundreds of Goulburn Valley children are waiting for a clinical diagnosis of developmental and behavioural problems displayed at school.
After being referred to a psychologist by a general practitioner, the children and their families sit on waiting lists for months, with as many as 50 per cent not bothering to turn up for appointments.
For the past year, Dr Peter Eastaugh has been trying to break the deadlock by bringing therapeutic treatment to children where it matters most — in schools.
Dr Eastaugh said there was a 100 per cent attendance rate at his morning clinics because when parents dropped their children off at school they could go straight into a consultation.
By offering his services for free, Dr Eastaugh said he was trying to save what could be a fourth generation of children lost to the trauma of illness, alcohol, drugs, violence or the random savagery of the world.
Dr Eastaugh said his new ‘‘direct action’’ model of school paediatric clinics had the potential to revolutionise the way children with behavioural problems were diagnosed and treated.
At his suggestion, non-teaching staff at the three schools were being trained in ‘‘sand play’’ therapy.
The process involved traumatised children using imaginative play to work through their problems under close observation.
One school principal said the clinics had brought a ‘‘Pandora’s box’’ of issues out into the open that needed to be addressed.
Dr Eastaugh said he was gathering statistical evidence to show school clinics worked.
The Department of Education does not recognise his clinics and, more importantly, does not fund them.
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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