One of our most popular resources is the Quirky Kid Pack, which contains 11 resources for a range of applications. Each tool has been carefully designed by our team to assist clinicians in building social, communication, and self-awareness skills with their clients.
Their use and application have grown significantly since they were first published and we love hearing from our customers around the world about how they implement the resources in their clinic.
Recently, we were contacted by Sarah Scully, a Mental Health Clinician/Behavioural Consultant with the Developmental Disabilities Mental Health Services in British Columbia, Canada. Sarah reached out to share her experience in using the Quirky Kid pack. Her reflection highlights how this resource can be used with a diverse range of clients and settings.
Sarah’s team is made up of psychiatric nurses, mental health clinicians, behavioural consultants, art therapists and occupational therapists. They provide mental health services to people with an IQ below 70 and who live with a psychiatric illness or challenging behaviour.
Read Sarah’s case study:
I am fairly new to the Developmental Disabilities Mental Health Services team in Canada and had to deliver a presentation to my senior staff members, with the goal to work on our youth team as a counsellor, I shared my secret weapon…Quirky Kids resources.
I own and love the Quirky Kid Pack and presented on how I use these resources with my client population; adults with intellectual disabilities (ID).
I shared how I use ‘Face It Cards’ to help my clients expand on their emotional literacy. Somewhat similar to young children, many of my ID clients have the basics; mad, sad, happy and not much else. These cards help expand their emotional vocabulary and provide a fun way to notice the nuances of different facial expressions. In learning new feelings and emotions my clients are able to start relating to and naming their physiological experiences. By getting to understand what my client is feeling, I can support them and the people around them to enhance their mental health. When a facial expression comes up that a client can not name, we discuss the possibilities of what the person is thinking or feeling, making it a great way to develop empathy.
I also told my tea how I use ‘Face It Cards’ in a projective way, helping my clients deal with a history of trauma, abuse or loss. I use the cards to enable my clients to speak about the picture they see, rather than themselves. There is often hidden gems of truth in the stories created by my clients, which can be used therapeutically. I have successfully used the cards to encourage conversation about past experiences, which can open up a dialogue and courage clients to share their stories and feelings.
There is often hidden gems of truth in the stories created by my clients, which can be used therapeutically. I had one client who expressed, for nearly every card, “someone said something bad to her”, or “someone must have said something nice to her”. This encouraged a conversation about her past experiences of being bullied as a child, which related to her current feelings of being unheard by her support team today. These patterns can open up a new dialogue and encourage clients to share their stories and feelings.
I love to use ‘Tell Me a Story Cards’as Icebreakers. When meeting a new client, it helps to build trust and rapport while sharing information that you wouldn’t normally share, like the farthest you ever swam! Poor self-esteem and negative self-talk is something I commonly see in the people I serve. I use the ‘Tell Me a Story Cards’ with clients to reinforce their accomplishments and obstacles they have overcome.
Finally, I like to use the ‘Just Like When Cards’ as social stories. Often, adults with disabilities have little in the way of social connection and may not understand social norms and behaviour. These cards are a good way to explore social scenarios while talking through their personal experiences or making up stories based on the images. These cards also encourage empathy for others.
One of the best things about these amazing resources is that, although they are meant for children, they are not immature. They translate extremely well to adults with intellectual disabilities. So often, this population is infantilized and treated as permanent children as they struggle to establish their own independence as adults with extra support needs. The Quirky Kid cards are a great way to meet my clients in a developmentally appropriate but respectful way.
I am happy to say that the presentation was a success and I was offered the position. I am looking forward to kids aged 12-19 and hoping to get more use out of my ‘Likes of Youth Cards’!
Kimberley O’Brien and the Quirky Kid team are committed to contributing to various publications and media outlets on topics of interest to parents and families alike.
Please enjoy this resource as an easy access database to all of our recent collaborations, interviews and publications.
July 2018 – October 2018 Update
Channel Ten News – Lessons for Life on the Changes of the NSW Curriculum on Mental health. Read the story here.
We are excited to welcome St Monica’s Primary School to the Quirky Kid clinic as a program facilitator of our award-winning anxiety Program, Basecamp®. St Monica’s Primary School, located in Evatt, ACT, is just one of the schools we are currently working with to provide Basecamp® to their students.
Basecamp® is an innovative anxiety program designed for children between the ages of 7 to 12. Developed by Clinical Psychologist, Dr Kathryn Berry, and the Quirky Kid team, BaseCamp® draws on decades of experience, combining a sound theoretical cognitive-behavioural approach with effective, engaging and child-centred activities. Winner of multiple International and Australian publishing awards, Basecamp® is being implemented by clinics and schools across Australia to assist children in learning how to manage anxiety.
About St Monica’s Primary School
St Monica’s Primary School is a Catholic learning community for children in grades K-6. At St Monica’s, their mission is to provide strong educational programs to enable children to reach their full potential. We were impressed by their commitment to providing innovative social-emotional learning education, making the most of technology, and looking to provide holistic support for children and their families.
How Basecamp® will be implemented
Dr Kathryn Berry and our team of psychologists will work carefully with St Monica’s Primary School to implement the Basecamp® program. Key to the success of the program is ensuring that all facilitators are provided with comprehensive training and guided implementation to their students. Evaluation and monitoring tools will also be used to ensure the outcomes of the program are met and to develop ongoing individual intervention students anxiety.
Interested in offering Basecamp® at your school?
St Monica’s Primary School is one of a number of schools we are currently working with to implement our Basecamp® program. With St Monica’s and other incredible schools onboard, Basecamp® is recognised as a cost-effective, evidence-based intervention to assist children with managing their anxiety.
We continue to work incredibly hard to produce innovative programs and resources that are tried, tested and loved in classrooms, clinics and lounge rooms around the globe. Just last week Basecamp received a Highly Commended mention at the 2018 Education Publishing Awards.
We will be part of iAccelerate Demo Day again this year.Come and visit us: all welcome!
Quirky Kid is excited to be taking part in Accelerate Demo Day 2018. A cornerstone event where the community can engage with iAccelerate’s innovative resident companies to learn more about what they are working on.Over 25 current iAccelerate residents will be exhibiting. Further, breakout sessions and tours will run throughout the day.
Quirky Kid and Win News Illawarra.
This is your chance to see the amazing innovations the companies are working on and get to know the residents. Also, it provides us with the opportunity to exhibit to the community, investors, business leaders, media, and the wider start-up community. You can find more info about the exhibitors and program here.
Demo Day is a great opportunity for you to engage with Quirky Kid. Come and learn more about our current evidence-based projects for children and their families. Furthermore, you will be able to hear from other innovative iAccelerate residents.
Join us at iAccelerate Centre – Innovation Campus, North Wollongong – on Friday 9th November. In addition, we will be talking all things Social Emotional Learning during our breakout sessions at 12.30pm
Importantly, the event is free and open to everyone, but registration via Eventbrite is recommended
Connecting Young Minds is located in Mount Gambier, South Australia. Headed up by Michelle Wright, a Family and Educational Consultant, her space specialises in creating individualised programs for families. As a result, these programs assist her clients in promoting positive mental health growth of their children.
Furthermore, we are impressed with the passion and commitment of Connecting Young Minds to social emotional learning. We are working with their team to deliver their first program to eight children during Term 4.
How we will implement the Best of Friends Program™ at Connecting Young Minds
The first 10-week group of The Best of Friends® program is taking place in Term 4 2018. Currently, our team of facilitators are closely supporting Connecting Young Minds in the delivery of the program. Each participant receives a copy of the exclusive workbook developed by Quirky Kid. Further, facilitators and parents have access to an extensive series of information, manuals and regular supervision as required.
To ensure adequate evaluation, each child and group complete pre- and post- psychometrist testing of their social and emotional skills. As a result, Connecting Young Minds can monitor the outcome significance of the intervention. Evaluation and Monitoring is an important part of The Best of Friends® program. We are working closely with Connecting Young Minds to support them in this.
Interested in offering ‘The Best of Friends® ’ program at your clinic?
Connecting Young Minds is one of the 15 other school or clinics offering our programs around Australia. Further, their enrolment continues to establish our Social and Emotional program as a cost-effective and evidence-based intervention. The programs aim is to improve children’s social and emotional wellbeing.
We continue to work incredibly hard to produce innovative programs and resources. Parents, clinics and schools love these resources, using them around the world.
Best of Friends®has a comprehensive implementation, evaluation and monitoring plan. Likewise, we are keen to identify partners committed to the implementation and evaluation of social emotional learning programs.
Finally, you can contact us or visit the program websiteto find out more about how you can meet and develop the needs of your students or clients through The Best of Friends® program.