The medical diagnosis and treatment of JIA may vary from child to child because every child is different.
It is hoped that you find the information below a valuable resource as your circumstances change over time.
Click here to view Arthritis Australia resources.
In Canberra there is only one paediatric rheumatologist, her name is Dr. Kathie Tymms. Dr. Tymms’ rooms are located at 9th Floor, Canberra House, 40 Marcus Clarke Street Canberra City, Phone 6230 6306. Paediatric rheumatologist are also available at Sydney Paediatric Services. Their contact details & locations can be found at http://www.paediatricrheumatology.com/
Links & Resources
These links are for information only, and may or may not apply based upon individual circumstances.
Arthritis Care (UK)
Arthritis Care (UK) has the ‘My child has arthritis, a practical guide for parents’ booklet available to download for free at their website, along with other useful booklets on JIA.
Information on entitlements and safety nets
- ACT Interstate Patient Assistance Scheme (IPTAS) form – For reimbursement of costs for attending specialist medical care interstate:
- Disability Parking Scheme application form: (Depending upon the type of arthritis this may or may not apply)
- Carers Allowance/Payment application (This application may determine eligibility for a Health Care Card, and/or an allowance)
- Medicare Safety Net threshold information
- ACT Equipment Scheme assistance
- eHealth registration
- National Disability Insurance Scheme
Information on medical, health and social supports
The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) Clinical guideline for the diagnosis and management of juvenile idiopathic arthritis an article that may be of interest. It is time to rethink juvenile idiopathic arthritis classification and nomenclature
Carers ACT is a carer support association. They can provide support to you as carers. http://www.carersact.org.au/
Uveitis (Also known as iritis or iridocyclitis): Inflammation inside the eye(s) that can cause damage to the iris, without pain or redness or other symptoms. It is important to have regular screening checks. Your specialist may be able to refer your child to an Ophthalmologist.
Current guidelines, published in 2006 in the journal Paediatrics, recommend eye exams every three months for children diagnosed with juvenile arthritis before age 6, which also test positive for anti-nuclear antibodies, or ANAs. From four to seven years after diagnosis, the recommended frequency of screening drops to every six months; and after seven years, experts recommend eye screening once each year. Current study suggests that kids diagnosed with JIA before age 5 should get quarterly eye exams until seven years after their diagnoses, instead of just four.
The world expert on uveitis at the moment is Prof Stephen Foster founder of the Ocular Immunology Foundation. He will respond personally if you email him with questions!
A good patient based website is Olivia’s Vision
A comprehensive Dr Google site explaining the condition is (but note this does not use the most up to date treatments):
Childhood Uveitis book
The first line of treatment for uveitis is steroid drops, then the level of immunosuppressant meds can be adjusted up so that dependence on steroids is reduced to one or two drops a day maximum (ideally no steroids).
The use of immunosuppressant meds as the main line of therapy has dramatically improved the outcomes for the kids as it reduces the level of complications caused by prolonged use of steroid drops (i.e. cataracts and glaucoma). The treatment goal is complete reduction of inflammation with minimal to no use of steroids then to hold them on methotrexate (or equivalent) for 2 to 3 years without any recurrence while the child’s own immune system has a chance to reprogram itself before gradually tapering the immunosuppression.