Jacqui Olsson attended the 2009 SPELD Conference on Wednesday, 7th October 2009.This year’s conference focused on Reading and Language difficulties, and guest speakers from Australia and Overseas presented on topics such as dyslexia and language impairment, methods of teaching vocabulary, improving the quality of students’ written texts, development and assessment of students’ spelling skills and managing disruptive behaviour. To learn more about these issues, please visit our resources page.
SPELD NSW is an association of parents and professionals interested and involved in advancing the education and general well-being of children and adults with Specific Learning Difficulties or learning disability.
Leonardo Rocker, the Quirky Kid Practice Manager, will be attending the Frankfurt book fair, in Germany, from the 14th to 18th of October 2009 as a trade visitor. This is a major step towards promoting and expanding our therapeutic resources.
We aim to promote our new therapeutic resources for children as well as explore new tendencies in print and digital media. We have already set several meetings with interested parties to explore rights acquisition and sale.
Our aim as a publishing house is to combine our clinical expertise with our innovations in effective therapeutic resources to ensure parents and teachers have the best materials to support children and adolescents. We also aim to share our services and environmentally sound resource packs to both developed and developing countries with ongoing support and communication (Our team love opportunities for remote travel!).
We aim to develop the most sought after and effective therapeutic resources in the world.
During a recent trip to New York (11-24th Sept 2009) I hired a car for the day and ventured 2 hours north to the University of Connecticut (UCONN) to meet with Dr Julie Aikins, an expert in the field of early adolescent friendships. Julie organized a forum for post graduate students and I presented my own PhD research on “Self Esteem and Social Relationships among Students in Transition from Primary to Secondary school”.
The outcome was an abundance of new ideas for the future direction of my thesis. Julie fearlessly devised a new model to further explore the impact of loneliness, self-esteem, belonging and friendship quality during school transition. She also suggested the introduction of two (2) new variables:
Stability of friendships
Reciprocity of friendships
Once again I would like to extend a huge thank you to Dr Julie Aikin and her team of research assistants for their generosity and wisdom. UCONN is also a place I would highly recommend as a well-resourced and service-oriented university – The library and the library staff were phenomenal!
Now back in Sydney, I have returned to the ‘writing-up’ stage of my project, aiming for 80 000 words by mid- 2010 with ongoing support and guidance from my long-distance supervisor, the amazing Dr. Helen Watt at Monash University. Helen selflessly shared the art of connecting with international experts and it was well worth the effort.
We are thrilled with our first Melbourne workshops! Kimberley O’Brien and Jacqui Olsson delivered the Quirky Kid children workshops in Melbourne for the first time on Saturday, 26th September 2009.
The ‘Best of Friends ™‘ and ‘Why Worry’ Workshops were held throughout the day at Northcote Town Hall, and were a great success. Children enthusiastically took part in a number of activities including painting, playdough, letter-writing and role play, while discussing issues surrounding friendship in the ‘Best of Friends’ workshop, and anxiety and worry in the “Why Worry” workshop.
Our Best of Friends and Why Worry workshops will next be in Melbourne in January 29th and 30th 2010, as well as our ‘Family Play Therapy’ workshop for parents. Please contact us on (02) 9362 9297 for more information or vist the Melbourbe workshops page.
Kimberley O’Brien, our principal child psychologist, presented our parenting workshop ‘Playful Approaches to Problem Solving’ to parents from St Philips Christian College, Port Stephens, and surrounding areas.
Participants and Kimberley discussed strategies such as the importance of family communication, and how to use media and play techniques to help children express themselves. The presentation was a great way to connect with parents and professionals outside Sydney.
Kimberley was invited to St Philips Christian College as part of their Centre of Gravity (COG) initiaitive. COG aims to provide free parenting and information seminars to parents and professionals in Port Stephens and surrounding areas.