Update: Simonne Cohen no longers works at Quirky Kid.
I have recently joined The Quirky Kid Team in Woollahra, as a Registered Psychologist. I gained my undergraduate qualification in Psychology in 2010 from the University of New South Wales (Sydney), passing my Bachelor of Psychology. Following the completion of my degree, I completed a Masters of Clinical Psychology from the University of New South Wales. I have always had an interest in working with children, particularly children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), and spent several years working as an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapist as well as conducting assessments and therapy as a Provisional Psychologist.
During my postgraduate training, I also worked as a Research Assistant at Westmead Children’s Hospital, where I conducted psychometric assessments and managed and coordinated clinical trials involving children with a range of behavioural and emotional difficulties. This fuelled my enthusiasm to continue to work with children, as well as undertake a PhD with a specialty in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I am currently enrolled in a collaborative PhD program with Monash/ Harvard Medical School in the USA where I am investigating the relationship between sleep deficiencies and poor behaviour in children with Low Functioning Autism.
Why have I moved to Quirky kid clinic?
I have always wanted to work in a warm, creative and supportive environment. The Quirky kid Clinic offers this type of environment, as well as high quality evidence based therapy for kids with a diverse range of needs. It is considered one of the most highly recognised clinics in Sydney with excellent resources, staff and therapists and therefore was a highly attractive place to work. The Quirky Kid Clinic offers a fun, open, warm and friendly environment that makes it appealing for children as well as staff. I am delighted to be apart of the team!
What are my skills?
I have always had a keen interest in working with children and their families. This was particularly reinforced in my Clinical Psychology training, as I was able to gain work experience assisting in the treatment of children diagnosed with anxiety, depression, conduct disorder, as well as a range of other behavioural issues. I have experience running social skills groups, anxiety groups and conducting individual therapy with children with a range of difficulties. I also have experience conducting psychometric assessments and using a range of assessment tools to help identify children’s particular cognitive strengths and weaknesses. I am passionate about working with children and their families, and making a difference in any way possible.
What is my role at QK?
My role at The Quirky Kid Clinic is to facilitate evidence based programs for children with a range of behavioural and emotional activities. Some of these programs include the ‘Why worry?’ program and the social skills program called ‘The Best of Friends’. These programs involve consulting with teachers, parents as well as going into the school setting and facilitating programs with children ranged 3-13years.
In addition to running programs, I will also be conducting psychometric assessments in collaboration with the other psychologists at the clinic, and writing psychometric reports to help understand the individual learning needs of children and adolescents.
The team has so far been a fantastic team to work for, and I very much continue to build a professional name within this clinic in the coming years.
Update: Simonne Cohen no longers works at Quirky Kid.
We are heading to the 2014 Bologna Children and Adolescent Book Fair (Italy) this week. We will be joining our colleagues from the Australian Publishers Association to network, learn, inspired and be inspired by all the amazing resources available word-wide for children and young people.
Since 1963 the Bologna Children’s Book Fair has been a leading international event for publishers. It really is the “place-to-be” for selling rights. The exhibition gives everyone the chance to discover the latest market trends in the book industry, to meet the most important illustrators, authors and see the winners of the most prestigious international awards
Events like these provide the perfect opportunity to showcase the amazing resources we produce here at The Quirky Kid Clinic. It is also a great place meet interesting and creative people doing similar work as we do. We will take the change and do some serious business by securing distribution and publishing rights. Our resources are already available in countries like USA, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia and Brazil and we want to expand more.
This will be our first time in at the Bologna Book Fair and we can’t wait to dive into it. We will keep our Twitter and Facebook pages up to date with regular information and photos.
Due to our continued growth and success we are looking to recruit two (2) exceptional child psychologists with a solid record of successful therapeutic intervention with children and families to join us in our Sydney clinic! We also have 2 contract roles available for child psychologists with experience as group facilitator’s and psychometric assessments and reports.
These challenging and rewarding positions will offer you the opportunity to work with exceptional clients and colleagues addressing a broad range of presentations. Based in our brand new clinical space, the successful applicant will enjoy the support of our professional administrative and clinical teams in well-resourced working conditions. Set in Woollahra, our clinic is surrounded by cafes, restaurants and beautiful parklands.
While your key focus will be to provide effective clinical intervention and assessments to young clients and their families, your role will also allow you to collaborate with the development of social-emotional resources as part of our publishing business.
Recently I was lucky enough to visit Macquarie University and meet with the staff at Mia Mia. Mia Mia is a early childhood facility where passionate staff provide education and care to our littlest citizens. They refer strongly to The Reggio Emilia approach. This approach views children as capable learners who work in collaboration with their peers. The role of teachers is to encourage this collaboration while taking on the role of learners themselves.
While at the centre I was able to observe how practice informs and is informed by research in child development. I noticed how children thrive when placed in a rich environment in which they are free to be agents in their own learning and development. “We are a school and we are supposed to make children think”, says a Mia Mia staff member.
I was taken on a tour with a group of mostly childcare workers and early childhood teachers as Mia Mia receives many visitors throughout the year who hope to take inspiration and ideas back to their own centres. Notes were hurriedly scribbled and the questions flowed from the time we walked in the front door! Ghosts from my university days were dug up and I looked at them with fresh eyes as our tour guide (a Mia Mia educator) spoke of the theorists who have shaped the way we understand children and their play. Play is held in high regard as the essential ingredient for the growing child, for example, the sophisticated meta-cognition required for a child to turn a simple wooden block into a mobile phone with their imagination and for the children around them to understand what they are doing.
The children’s rooms felt like home and outdoors is an important and interesting environment that entices children to play and learn. Lunch time is a lot like the “real world” with a cafe style set up that lets the children see the kitchen staff at work and that separates this part of their routine from the rest. Even staff meetings are a part of the children’s world and begin at the end of the day while some children are still present so that they can contribute to problem solving and see adults at work. I was surprised to hear that children’s artwork is not displayed as I am so used to seeing walls filled with paintings and projects. When our guide asked us to imagine if she took a page from our note books right now and hung it on the wall for everyone to see, I suddenly understood! The children are taught care and consideration in exploring materials and there is a large focus on ongoing projects. The important thing in a child’s work is the process and not the product, an important attitude to foster if we want our children to be internally motivated and persistent.
Another surprise was the approach taken to introducing new children to the centre. In the world of Quirky Kid we spend a lot of time supporting parents in dealing with separation anxiety so I was keen to hear more. Parents are told when they bring their children to have a plan A, B and C. In other words, don’t expect to drop them off on their first day and rush back to work! Children are gradually exposed to separation from their parents at the pace that is right for them. The parent may play in the room for much of day one, work on their laptop in the room as the child plays more independently then stay on-site in the staff room until their child is relaxed and confident about being separated.
I left Mia Mia with a head full of ideas for Quirky Kid, some challenged perceptions and many more questions.
We are proud to announce that the Australian Publisher Association (APA) has just accepted our membership application. This is an important milestone for Quirky Kid.
Most of you already know that The Quirky Kid Clinic is also a niche publishing house. Our focus is on practical and creative social-emotional resources aimed at children, adolescent and families. Our portfolio includes 6 resources, like The Face It Cards and The How to be a Friend book and 1 program, The Power Up Program and many more are on the way (see our online shop for all resources)
We are committed to our publishing projects and have a lot of surprises for you during 2014.
About the APA
The Australian Publishers Association (APA) is the peak industry body for Australian book, journal and electronic publishers. Established in 1948, the association is an advocate for all Australian publishers: large or small; commercial or non-profit; academic or popular; locally or overseas owned. Over the years the APA has grown into an organisation of considerable influence. From modest beginnings and a membership of twenty, the Association now has over 216 members and represents 91% of the industry, based on turnover.