Experts observe treatment options for trans kids in Australia

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Fiona Kelly Associate Professor at La Trobe University Law School, looks at the treatment offered nowadays to transgender kids in Australia. To diagnose gender dysphoria a person must express a strong and persistent cross-gender identification for more than six months, a persistent discomfort with his or her sex or sense of inappropriateness in the gender role of that sex, and the experience must cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

Medical treatment for gender dysphoria is regulated by international consensus guidelines published by the Endocrine Society of the United States and endorsed in Australia by the Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group. Treatment is also informed by the clinical guidelines contained within the Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People, produced by the World Professional Association for Transgender Health and drawing on the best available science and expert professional consensus.

Clinical practice for the treatment of a сhild whose parents suspect may be experiencing gender dysphoria does not involve any treatment that is irreversible. Parents can seek help from a range of health professionals, who may then refer the child to mental health clinicians. A full psychiatric assessment follows, with the aim of engaging the child in ongoing psychotherapy to monitor both their emotional well-being and whether their dysphoria remains persistent. No other medical treatment will occur until the child nears puberty.

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