At Quirky Kid, we are committed to developing engaging and creative therapeutic resources and evidence-based programs (see Basecamp, The Best of Friends and Power Up) for use in clinics and classrooms around the world.
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’!