Tag: Child Psychology

Service Update: NDIS Ready

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Posted on by Emily Wright

Good News! The Quirky Kid Clinic is now a registered provider under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

About the NDIS

The NDIS is aimed at providing increased access to services for people living with disability. The funding scheme is designed to provide the right support according to each person’s needs and goals. It supports the delivery of specialised individual therapy, and individual assessment for early childhood intervention.

Eligible families can access services from a panel of Service Providers, like the Quirky Kid Clinic, to help cover the cost of early intervention.

In NSW, the NDIS will be rolled out by district. When the NDIS commences in a district, people currently receiving supports through New South Wales Government specialist disability services will be moving first. Existing Commonwealth and state-based services and supports will continue until eligible people with a disability start their plans with the NDIS.

  • If you have an agency or managed plan, we will need a copy of your NDIS plan to proceed with services. To begin, please call our reception on + 02 9362 9297 and we can organise an initial consultation with one of our psychologists, to formulate a plan moving forward.
  • If you are not currently receiving disability supports you can apply to access the NDIS from the 1st of July 2018 (only those in urgent or exceptional circumstances). You may meet the access requirements up to six months prior to the NDIS phasing in your area. You can use the checklist on the NDIS website, to see if your child meets the NDIS rules.

For more information on how you can use your NDIS funding with the Quirky Kid Clinic, please call + 02 9362 9297 or email us at support@quirkykid.com.au

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How to prepare for 2016 with the help of a Child Psychologist

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Posted on by Dr. Kimberley O'Brien

image of handshake and books, glasses and a ball

Children present with a whole range of interesting characteristics. Amazing vocabularies, confidence in the company of adults, endless creativity and emotional intelligence beyond their years. While others struggle with background noise and refuse to put pen to paper due to sensory issues and perfectionism. The start of a new school year is often when parents decide to have their children assessed to gain clarity and direction for the year ahead. Armed with information for teachers, parents are empowered by an expert opinion.

Deciding to seek a professional opinion can take months or years of deliberation. Some put off an assessment in the hope their child will ‘catch-up’ or ‘settle down’ with maturity. Others proactively seek a standardized assessment with the view to access evidence-based intervention as soon as possible. In my experience, young people respond positively to intensive support tailored to meet their needs in the home, school and community setting. They thrive with extra attention and understanding.

A significant event or developmental milestone, such a starting kindergarten, changing school or starting secondary school may trigger parents to make an appointment with a psychologist. Common goals for intervention include ‘behaviour management strategies‘, ‘greater classroom support’ and ‘to help my child maintain friendships’. Whatever the precursor, the assessment process begins when parents engage in a joint appointment to provide background information. The initial interview is an opportunity to learn more about the child’s developmental history while gaining a detailed account of the child’s presentation at home and school.

Many parents bring school reports or previous assessments to pinpoint their child’s strengths and weaknesses. Telephone consultations are often recommended between the teacher and the psychologist to gather current insights into any social or behavioural issues. The information provided by teachers and parents is essential to establish the best way forward. The psychologist’s plan is referred to as a ‘case plan’.

A case plan may include a selection of standardized assessment tools to be administered in the clinic setting; playground and classroom observations or programs to be facilitated with same-aged peers. Popular goals identified by young clients in their initial appointments are often on par with developing academic confidence, gaining independence and establishing organizational skills. For children, this often equates to greater understanding from the adults around them, as opposed to frustration or pressure to perform. For parents and teachers, the assessment process often brings about clarity, direction and initiates a team approach to solving the issues.

In some cases following an assessment, parents and teachers are divided by a diagnosis or lack of diagnosis. According to some parents, pre-school teachers have been known to confidently diagnose Autism based on observation alone. We also hear from schools seeking “a DSM-V diagnosis” in order to apply for funding. In these circumstances, a psychologist is likely to suggest a case conference at the school, involving parents and teachers to mediate around the pros and cons of a diagnosis or a label.

Semantics aside, most parents are more interested in the recommendations included in an assessment, as opposed to a diagnosis. This detailed list of practical ideas is designed to harness individual strengths while addressing areas in need of support. Community-based programs, such as daily swimming or kid’s yoga courses, often compliment clinic and classroom interventions.

For teachers navigating a new mix of students in the coming weeks, a well-considered assessment including practical classroom strategies is peace of mind for parents wishing to give their child a jump start to the year ahead. To learn more about developmental assessments, see: https://childpsychologist.com.au/service/

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We’re Separating

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Yes, the Quirky Kid site and our online shop are separating!

We are very excited to introduce our new Therapeutic resources Shop – the Quirky Kid Shoppe. This specialist book and resources shop provides parents and professionals with unique therapeutic resources, including books, toys, games and cards for children, adolescents and families.

The New Shoppe Home Page

Quirky Kid New Shop

More than a Shop!

The new Quirky Kid Shoppe offer many advantages in relation to our old system and it is really easy to navigate. For example, you can find handpicked resources by the Quirky Kid Team. These resources will be changed and updated often.

Resources for Parent and Professionals

The Quirky Kid Shoppe will provide more than just resources. We will also comment, discuss and demonstrate new tool and approaches – simple visit our blog to see videos, interviews, photos, and instructions.

Below you can see an example of the grid pages view were parents or professionals can easily find resources. You can search by Issues, Resource Type or Target Age.

Shoppe Resources

Work in Progress

This major project involved a lot of work and dedication over the past 6 months and it comes as a response to many requests from parents and colleagues that often asked us about the resources and products used during therapeutic intervention and workshops at the Quirky Kid Clinic.

We still have some small details to go over, however, be sure that you will find new and interesting ideas here on the Quirky Kid Shoppe.

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ASD and Repetitive Behaviour

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are lifelong developmental disabilities characterised by marked difficulties in social interaction, impaired communication, restricted and repetitive interests/behaviours, and sensory sensitivities.

It is called a spectrum disorder as each child may be affected in a different way. The severity of the disorder can range from mild to severe, and includes Autism, Asperger’s syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not otherwise Specified.

Repetitive behaviours are a core component of the diagnosis of autism, and they form an important part of early identification.

Typical Development of Repetitive Behaviours

  • Infants – often demonstrate repetitive behaviours including kicking, waving, banging, twirling, bouncing and rocking. These behaviours however, reduce after 12 months.
  • 24 – 36 months – compulsive like behaviours including preference for sameness begin to emerge.
  • 4 years – decrease in all repetitive behaviours. By the time a child reaches school age there are usually relatively few repetitive behaviours to be seen.

Repetitive Behaviours in a child diagnosed with an ASD

The amount and frequency of repetitive behaviours seen in a child diagnosed with an ASD is significantly higher than that seen in children without an ASD diagnosis. There are also differences in the types of repetitive behaviour demonstrated in autism and typical development.
Young children with autism are more likely to engage in

  • body rocking,
  • finger flicking,
  • hand flapping,
  • mouthing,
  • unusual posturing.

Recent studies have shown that a combination of therapies that aim to increase receptive language and improve social skills, can reduce the occurrence of repetitive behaviours.

Need more information?

Quirky Kid is registered to provide services under the Helping Children with Austins – FaCHSIA.

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Information for this fact sheet was taken from an interview with Child Psychologist Kimberley O’Brien, the Repetitive Behaviours in Autism Spectrum Disorder Workshop attended by Corina Vogler, Provisional Psychologist  and the following articles:

Honey, E., McConachie, H., Randle, Val., Shearer, H., & Le Couteur, A. S. (2008). One-year Change in Repetitive Behaviours in Young Children with Communication Disorders Including Autism. Journal Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 1439–1450.

Honey, E., Leekham, S., & McConachie, H.. (2007). Repetitive Behaviours and Play in Typically Developing Children and Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal Autism and Developmental Disorders, 37, 1107–1115.

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Boys and Gender @ Today Show

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Posted on by Leonardo Rocker (Quirky Kid Staff)

Kimberley O’Brien, our principal child psychologist, discussed the book ‘ my princes boy’  about a boy that likes to dress up like a girl with Lisa Wilkinson from the Today Show. You can find  useful, practical and informative advice about parenting by visiting our resources page, – or discussing it on our forum.

Watch the segment at the Channel 9 website. You can find more information about our resources at our online shop

If you have a story and would like to discuss it with us, please contact us to schedule a time. Kimberley O’Brien enjoys sharing the best of her therapeutic moments with the media. View our media appearances to-date.

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