06 Jul 2022

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Clear Skies: DBT Skills Group for Teens

Adolescence can be a challenging time for many teens.  However, some teens will struggle with intense emotions which can in turn impact on their relationships with family and peers and well-being.

There are many reasons why this can happen. The key though is early intervention.

This term the Child Wellbeing Centre will be running an intensive skills-based group program focused on learning skills to manage intense feelings and improving and repairing relationships. We will be using a specific therapy technique: Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT).

About the Group

This course is based on DBT for Adolescents with a mixture of psychoeducation and skills training in emotional regulation and interpersonal skills. This course will suit teens aged 14-18 years who have:

  • Fast and intense emotional reactions
  • Mood-dependent impulsive behaviours
  • Relational strain with peers or family, or difficulty maintaining healthy relationships

The course is also suitable for those diagnosed with or at risk of developing Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

If you or your teen is interested in attending this program please contact us to arrange an interview. The interview will help us to make sure that this is an appropriate intervention. And if the group isn’t the best option, we can discuss with you what might be a more appropriate therapy pathway.

Program Details

Date:                  The program starts on Wednesday 03 August and will run for 8 weeks

Time:                 5.15pm to 6.45pm

Location:           Child Wellbeing Centre, Bayswater (Unit 10/488 Walter Road)

Cost:                 $120 per session (Medicare Rebates apply)

Facilitators:        Sharon Jones (Principal Psychologist)

Co-Facilitators: Toni Schmitz (Registered Psychologist) and Hannah Mc Bride (Provisional Psychologist)

For more information

For more information or to book an initial interview, please contact our Client Support Coordinator on 9274 7062.

04 Jul 2022

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Social Skills Program for Teens

Surviving ‘2’ Thriving
A therapy group for teens aged 12 – 15 focusing on social skills development.

Navigating high school can be a confusing and challenging time. Teenagers begin to
form their identities and find out where they fit in the world, shifting away from
family and towards peers. That’s why establishing positive relationships is important
for their social development, self-esteem and mental health.

About the Group

The purpose of the group is to help teens develop their social skills and self-esteem so they
have the confidence to build meaningful connections with peers. The learning program focuses on different topics each week around socialisation, such as: reading social cues; having conversations; and understanding social anxiety.

The group is an opportunity for teens to meet friendly people their age who face similar challenges while creating a safe space to learn together.

The group has been developed especially for teens with (or suspected of) autism spectrum
disorder and is a safe space for LGBTIQ+ people.

Program Details

Date:         The program starts on Thursday 04 August and will run for 8 weeks 

Time:         4pm to 5pm

Location:   Child Wellbeing Centre, Bayswater (Unit 10/488 Walter Road)

Cost:          $65 per session (eligible for NDIS funding)

For more information or to enroll, please contact our Client Support Coordinator on 9274 7062.

23 Jun 2022

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Friendship Club – Group Social Skills Programs, Term 3

Our Friendship Club group social skills (Amazing Amigos and Best Buddies) are back on for Term Three!

Sessions will be run by Kate Hyde and Natalie Nguyen, Provisional Psychologists this term.  Both will be working hard to make sessions fun and motivating while teaching the important skills needed to make and keep friends.

In each group, the team employs a four-part training approach using modelling, role-playing, performance feedback, and generalisation to teach essential pro-social skills to children.  Programs are tailored to meet the needs of the children participating in groups.

Amazing Amigos

Our Amazing Amigos program provides an opportunity for young ones to learn important social skills, such as: listening to others; greeting; asking for help; joining in; taking turns; and sharing.

Who is suited:     Children aged 4-6 years of age who need help with making or keeping friends.

Where:                 Child Wellbeing Centre, 5 Brockman Road, Midland
When:                  Monday afternoons 4.00pm -5.00pm during Term Three.

Cost:                    $66.81 per session

Best Buddies

Our “Best Buddies” program will help to build confidence in your child for making and keeping friends. We will be using modelling, and role-playing to build on current skills and learn new ones. Some of the skills focused on include: how to introduce yourself; starting (and joining in) conversations; being a good winner and loser; and working in groups.

Who is suited:     Children aged 7-9 years of age who need help with making or keeping friends.
Where:                 Venue (Midland) to be confirmed
When:                  Tuesday afternoons 4.00pm -5.00pm during Term Three.

Cost:                    $66.81 per session

How to enrol in our group social skills program?

Please call our Client Services Coordinator on 9274 7062 for more information and to register your interest. Email: csc@childwellbeingcentre.net.au

Kate or Natalie will then be in touch to schedule an initial appointment with you to find out more about your child and their needs.

21 Jun 2022

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Westmead Feelings Program 2, Term Three

As part of our Term Three group therapy program, our ABACAS team will be running the Westmead Feelings Program.

Program Outline

The Westmead Feelings Program teaches children to better express and understand their feelings and the feelings of others. It also teaches social skills, problem-solving methods and coping skills. It has been developed especially for children with (or suspected of) autism spectrum disorder.

The group will include students aged between 8 and 14 years. An information and training session will be held at the beginning and end of each term for the parents and the teachers of the children in the group (6 sessions altogether plus a booster session). Teachers and parents will learn what the children are being taught and will be trained in how to be an ‘emotion coach’ for the children so that they are helped to practice new skills at home and at school.

You can learn more about the Westmead Feelings Program here:


Program Facilitators

Rachel Puan, Program Manager and Lynette Tan, Case Manager from our ABACAS team will be running this program.  Both Rachel and Lynette have years of experience developing Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) skills programs for children. As part of their roles they also provide behavioural consultancy services to families and schools alike.  It just so happens that both are also working on the BCBA credentials via post-graduate study too.

Program Details

Day and Time:    Every Tuesday starting 26 July 2022, 3.30-5.00pm

Session Length:  90-minutes sessions weekly

Number of participants: 6

Cost: $90 per session


Parents will need to purchase the following materials to support the program. This can be done through the centre.

  • $54.95 – children’s materials
  • $39.95 – parent materials

For more information please contact our Client Support Coordinator on 9274 7062 or email – csc@childwellbeingcentre.net.au

21 Jun 2022

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RUBI Parent Training Program, Term Three

As part of our Term Three group therapy program, our ABACAS team will be running  parent and carer training for our families with children on the autism spectrum.

Program Outline

The parent group will be based on the RUBI curriculum. RUBI is an evidence-based parent training program designed to support parents and caregivers of Autistic children ages 3-12. The focus of this program is on how to reduce challenging behaviours, including tantrums, aggression, and noncompliance.

Parents and carers will have the chance to learn new skills.  Core skills will include prevention strategies, reinforcement strategies, compliance training, functional communication skills and equipping children with daily living skills. 

This group training program will help parents and carers support their children’s therapy goals.

Program Facilitators

Rachel Puan, Program Manager and Lynette Tan, Case Manager from our ABACAS team will be running this program.  Both Rachel and Lynette have years of experience developing Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) skills programs for children. As part of their roles they also provide behavioural consultancy services to families and schools alike.  It just so happens that both are also working on the BCBA credentials via post-graduate study too.

Program Details

Day and Time:                Every Thursday starting 28 July 2022, 4.00-5.30pm

Session Length:              90-minute sessions weekly for 13 weeks

Number of participants: 8

Cost:                               $90 per session;

                                       $44.95 USD for the parent workbook (which the centre will order for you)

For more information please contact our Client Support Coordinator on 9274 7062 or email – csc@childwellbeingcentre.net.au


learning assessments 26 May 2022

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Learning about Learning Assessments

One of the services that the psychology team offers is learning assessments. A learning assessment can be a useful option to consider when children aren’t achieving their learning potential. Literacy (reading, understanding and writing) is an area that children experience difficulty with and sometimes, numeracy may also be a concern.

An assessment can help identify the barriers to learning for children.  Assessments may be helpful as they can give greater insight into why difficulties are occurring, highlight supports that children need, and help with decisions about schooling options.

Learning assessments may also help identify whether there are any attention or emotional issues that are preventing the child from making progress.

What do learning assessments involve?

To start with our psychologists will want to talk to you and find out about your child’s developmental, school, social and emotional history. This appointment is with the parent/carer (s) only as this gives you the opportunity to talk freely about your concerns.

From this, the psychologist will be able to work out which standardised tests may be helpful.  They will want to schedule 1-2 sessions with you and your child. These assessments may include a cognitive assessment (looking at learning potential) and an academic assessment (looking at literacy and/or numeracy). Other assessments may also be suggested.

When our team sees children, we work hard to put them at their ease so we can see them at their best. The first session in particular may involve rapport-building strategies.

The psychologist may want to talk to the teacher too. While school reports have a lot of useful information, our team can learn quite a bit from talking to the teacher. Sometimes we may even arrange an observation of the child in the class to find out more about how their behaviour may be impacting learning.

Sometimes they are also going to want to talk to other therapists about their assessments and therapy progress.

What happens after the learning assessment is completed?

The psychologist will meet with you to give feedback on what the assessment has revealed and their recommendations for how to move forward.  They will also provide you with a written report which you may choose to share with the school and other therapists. The aim of this session is to answer your questions and to help you as a parent/carer plan the next steps in supporting your child.

You are more than welcome to contact Reception on 9274 7062 to find out information about any of our services. For more information about our psychology services in general, please click here:


23 Apr 2022

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Explaining ANZAC day to young children

ANZAC Day is an important day for many Australians, when we recognise the service of defence personnel past and present, and in particular the anniversary of the troops landing in Gallipoli.

Children may learn about ANZAC Day at school through specific lessons and remembrance ceremonies. At home, children may want to talk about ANZAC Day further, which might include aspects of war. Given all the current media reporting on global conflicts, answering their questions may be tricky. We want to tell the truth but at the same time not give them so much information that we take away their sense of safety about the world.

It is important to consider how much your child might be able to cope with both intellectually and emotionally. This is going to vary from child to child, and with children of different ages.

For young children (around 4 to 8 years), we want to encourage questions but keep the messages simple and reassuring:

  • It’s a day when we remember and thank everyone that has helped to look after our country
  • It’s a day when we say thank you and are grateful that we live in a such a great country
  • It’s a day when we remember that we have to look after everyone that lives in our community, including our older people who helped make it so great.

In these discussions, we want to gauge how our children are managing this information, and not provoke or exacerbate any feelings of anxiety.

If they are very concerned, keep reflections to past or offshore events, and discuss how in Australia we are now safe. For tender hearts, the details of death and destruction can be postponed until it can be better managed with maturity. Remember that anxious and sensitive children can generalise their fears, and it is best to not avoid but hear them voice these concerns so that they may be addressed specifically.

Our children will continue to process these concepts as they grow older, and develop their own opinions with influences from many sources, including your values as their parents.

If you ever need assistance with any of this, you have the support from our Psychology Team. Just call our Receptionists at the Centre on 9274 7062  to make an appointment with one of our experienced psychologists.

Naomi Ward and Sharon Jones

Child Wellbeing Centre

15 Mar 2022

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Cancellation Policy

Working with children, we know that families can have many reasons where they need to cancel their appointments with our consultants. This year, particularly with COVID restrictions, we are seeing more clients and their families having to isolate, and therefore cancel their appointments, than in past few years.

In the past, we’ve certainly tried to be flexible with our Cancellation Policy. We often haven’t applied a cancellation fee when a child has been genuinely unwell.

However, we will now be enforcing the policy for all cancellations that are within 48 hours of an appointment. Please read the information to further understand why we have to use a Cancellation Policy and enforce a Cancellation Fee.

What’s in our Cancellation Policy?

Every new client coming into the Centre is asked to read and sign the Cancellation Policy. Our Cancellation Policy asks that you let us know within 48 hours of your appointment that you are unable to attend.

For clients who are coming into the Centre on Mondays, we ask for notice by 3pm the previous Saturday if you need to cancel your appointment.

Our Cancellation Fee is the full fee that would have been charged for the session.

To help you avoid a cancellation fee, we SMS all clients with a reminder 48 hours before your appointment. This is a good time to consider if a cancellation might be necessary.

Why do we have this policy?

We have our Cancellation Policy in place for a number of reasons. The primary reason is that this time frame allows our Reception Team enough time to offer the appointment to another family.

All of our services have very long waitlists with families who are very keen for support.  When a space becomes available in a consultant’s diary, it is an opportunity to try and offer it to another family in need. Cancelling your appointment without 48 hours’ notice means that we are unlikely to be able to contact another family who might be able to make arrangements and take your cancelled appointment.

As well as being able to support our families, the Child Wellbeing Centre is also a business. We therefore rely on the income from appointments to pay our staff.

But what if the child is sick or a close contact?

In the past, we have tried to be flexible and waived Cancellation Fees when a child was sick, but this is no longer a possibility. We are currently experiencing many cancellations due to children being COVID close contacts. Unfortunately, high volume restrictions still impact this considerably.

While being in isolation means that your child can’t come into the Centre, you can still proceed in most instances with a Telehealth session. This is when our consultants talk to you and your children online. In fact, many of family’s are doing this very successfully. with great feedback from the kids.

When won’t we be charging a Cancellation Fee?

None of us want to enforce a Cancellation Fee. If we are able to fill your cancelled appointment (even if you’ve given us less than 48 hours’ notice), we won’t charge you a Cancellation Fee. This is in line with our core value of Integrity. We will do our absolute best to find another family to take up the cancelled appointment time.

However, if we do charge a Cancellation Fee (you’ll receive this advice on the day of the appointment), we ask that this is paid before you schedule or attend your next appointment with us.

Please consider going ahead with a Telehealth appointment when you cannot attend the Centre. All you need for this is access to a device (even just a phone) and the internet.

Lastly… we know Cancellation Fees may seem unfair when it’s due to illness or COVID. However we ask that you work with us so we can support all of our children, families and staff during these difficult times.

18 Feb 2022

BY: admin

Speech Pathologist

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Language Development in Young Children

Children learn language by watching and listening to others. This is how they begin to understand others and develop the words to tell us their needs and so on.

As a baby your child listens to your voice and tries to copy you with all those lovely babbling sounds.  From 6 months onward, some of those sounds begin to sound like words (e.g. dada and baba). Then from 9 months onward, you’ll see your child start to recognise words (e.g. no, ouch, ta and bye-bye) and they will find ways to tell you what they want (e.g. raise their arms to be picked up). Use of individual words can start anywhere from 12 to 15 months. This is the exciting phase when children start to develop a vocabulary of words to let you know their needs (e.g. juice, doll and doggie). 

As a parent you play an important role in helping your child develop their early language skills!

How can parents help?

Taken from The Hanen Centre, the following are some tips to help guide your child’s language development.

  1. Use many different kinds of words when talking with your child.
  2.  Make a point of highlighting a variety of word types (e.g. labels and action words) when talking to your child, not just the names of things. It is important for your child to learn a variety of word types in order to talk in short sentences.
  3. Emphasize action words (sleep, eat, run, push, squeeze, break), descriptive words (soft, hot, big, sticky, funny, tired), location words (up, down, in, on, under), words about belonging (my, your, his, Mommy’s), and feeling words (sad, sick, happy, angry), as well nouns or names of things (dog, book, bed, cup).
  4. Repeat these words often and make them stand out when you use them by exaggerating your intonation and slowing down a bit. For example, “Mommy is very… TIRED (yawn). I must go to bed because I need to have a good sleep. Then I won’t be so tired.”
  5. Talk about your  child’s natural interests (e.g. their favourite toy) with them. For example, if your child says “ball”, you can extend this with something like “yes, that’s your big, red ball!”.

Where to go for help?

Children can struggle with language development for a range of reasons. A conversation with a child health nurse, GP or early childhood teacher may be helpful in providing reassurance. They can also let you know about support services in your local area.

Consulting a speech pathologist for advice may also be helpful as they are able to let you know if there is anything to be concerned about and if there is a need for therapy.

The Centre has five speech pathologists available who work on different days of the week and at our Bayswater and Midland offices. Currently we are offering centre based sessions but in some instances we may be able to see children at school.

You can find out more about our speech pathologists here:


Please call Reception on 9274 7062 for more information about our speech pathology services.

speech pathology 28 Jan 2022

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Speech Pathology Services at the Child Wellbeing Centre

Speech Pathologists can help children in a myriad of ways:

  • Language (understanding and expression)
  • Speech (articulation, stuttering, motor planning/Childhood Apraxia of Speech)
  • Social Skills (greeting others, conversation skills and making friends)
  • Literacy (phonological awareness, reading, writing and spelling) and
  • Stuttering (a condition that affects the rhythm or flow of speech) 

Within the Child Wellbeing Centre we have five speech pathologists available to work with clients.

  • Leonie Stotzer, Virginia Paradiso and Fang Min Lim work from our Midland offices and
  • Vanessa Mariani and Jessica Clark work from our Bayswater office.

With the team recently growing, we currently have capacity to take on new clients.  Please call Reception on (08) 9274 7062 to find out more about our services.