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Dr Felicity Adams
Clinical Psychologist (Practice Owner)

Bachelor of Science. Post Graduate Diploma of Psychology.
Doctor of Psychology.

Felicity brings vast experience and expertise having worked for 20 years in assessment and treatment of autism and related developmental disorders. She is now a leading expert in Western Australia in providing Best Practice behaviourally based intervention for children with autism and related disorders. Felicity works in partnership with families to plan, write and oversee intervention programmes focusing on a range of challenges associated with autism and other developmental disabilities – including sleep problems, food selectivity, anxiety, emotional regulation, toilet training and behaviour/communication problems. Felicity is able to provide intensive early intervention ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) programmes on request.

Felicity’s innovative, up to date, empirically validated interventions are highly successful in bringing about positive change in the many challenging and entrenched behaviours presenting in children with autism. A whole family approach ensures that plans are considered within the family context and intervention requires significant parent/caregiver commitment. Felicity also provides support for children and families at home and at school. Felicity supervises Child Matters Therapy Assistants on request to provide targeted, intensive home or school based programmes.

 
 
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Stephanie Soe Thein
Provisionally Registered Psychologist.

Bachelor of Psychology

Stephanie is our brilliant provisional psychologist with experience working with children with ASD and a genuine interest in focusing her career on children with disabilities and their families. She is a trained Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) therapist. We are very excited to have Steph join the team and she comes to Child Matters with the latest information and training from her studies. Her work will be closely overseen during her internship with regular supervision by Felicity as she develops her skills and experience. Stephanie works with children of all ages, and has a special interest in child and adolescent mental health. She is eager to apply her experience and compassion with children, youth and their families in order to help them reach their goals, improve their quality of life and attain a sense of fulfilment. Steph will be working in our Busselton office, from Stepping Stones Bunbury office, and at home/school as required.

 
 
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Rose Murrell
Occupational Therapist

Bachelor of Science (Occupational Therapy)

Rose is our wonderful Child Matters Occupational Therapist and works from our awesome sensory gym in Busselton as well as at school and home. Rose offers services in the areas of fine and gross motor skills development, sensory integration therapy, visual perceptual and visual motor integration therapy and the development of daily living skills such as sleep, toileting and feeding. Rose works hard to foster a collaborative approach to therapy to give children maximum opportunities to succeed. She works with children of all ages with a variety of different needs and is passionate about helping children reach their full potential. Rose has a special interest in sensory processing and determining strategies that can be successful at home and in school. Rose also has an interest in working with children on their fine motor skills, as developing these skills can make such a positive impact on the child’s ability to have success in carrying out activities in all aspects of their lives to their full potential.

 
 
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Lani Castani
Child Therapist

Bachelor of Education.
Bachelor of Social Work. Advanced Clinical Training in Play Therapy. 

Member of Australian Association of Social Work (AASW). 

Lani is an accredited Mental Health Social Worker, Play Therapist and secondary teacher, who has been working with children for the past 20 years. Lani’s approach aims to help develop and acknowledge client’s strengths. Her past experience includes working in a refuge environment, where she worked directly with children, focusing on children’s processing of trauma, and the provision of a safe space to express and process their emotions and experiences.

Lani’s personal philosophy of the importance of play for children and the vital role it has in children’s development lead to her interest in Child Centred Play Therapy, which takes the view that within the safety of a strong and positive relationship, and with the use of empathy, non-judgment and unconditional positive regard, it is possible for every individual to reach his or her full potential and be the best version of themselves they can be. For children, play is natural and toys are their words. It is the perfect way for children to express their world and try out new ways of being, to tell their story and to feel supported.

Lani recently completed Advanced training in Play therapy, through Play Therapy Australia and now offers this as her primary modality of therapy. Lani is also highly skilled at working with parents and carers to ensure parents work together in the best interests of their child/children. She provides support for parents and children at Child Matters and at her clinic in Willmott street, Margaret River. Lani is an associate member of the peak body for play therapy in Australia, the Australian Play Therapy Association (APTA), and a member of the Australian Association of Social Work (AASW).

 

Jodie McMorrow
Provisionally Registered Psychologist

Bachelor of Science (Psychology) – Honours

Jodie is our new provisional psychologist who has recently moved to beautiful Busselton from the East Coast of Australia. Jodie is passionate about working with children of all ages, with a particular interest in working with children with ASD and their families.  Jodie is enthusiastic about putting her experience and education in to practice to help children and their families reach their full potential, achieve their goals and become the happiest versions of themselves. Jodie’s work will be closely overseen by Felicity throughout her internship, as she develops her skills and experience.  Jodie will be working in our Busselton office, from our Stepping Stones office in Bunbury and at homes/schools as required.  

 
 
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Caroline Young
Provisionally Registered Psychologist

Bachelor of Psychology

Caroline is a very welcome addition to our team at Child Matters.   Caroline is a passionate and hard working young mum who brings to Child Matters experience from working in childcare, an adult day care centre, home and community care programmes and child protection.  These experiences have given Caroline the skills to work with children presenting with a diverse range of abilities and challenges.  They have also highlighted to her a desire to continue to work with and for children and families in the local region.  Caroline is warm, compassionate and approachable and has the much sought after capacity to connect successfully and therapeutically with both children and parents/carers.   She is looking forward to working with the amazing families at Child Matters and will be working in home and school settings from Australind to Busselton as well as the Child Matters offices.  As a provisional psychologist she will work closely with, and under the supervision of, Felicity.

 
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Deborah Cant
Practice Manager

Deborah has been with Child Matters since 2012. As a parent of a child with Autism, and having founded the South West Autism Network (SWAN) in 2009, Deb brings a wealth of knowledge and empathy for our clients and is an integral source of support for families, schools and professionals in the region. Deb is a current board member of the Western Australian NDIS Lower South West Advisory group.

Deb is the heartbeat of our busy practice.   

 
 

Therapy Assistants

Our team of carefully selected, amazing and talented Therapy Assistants deliver either ABA programmes or focused therapy programmes under the supervision of Child Matters clinicians. In this way therapy can be delivered at a fraction of the cost and in a more intensive fashion, leading to better outcomes for children and families. These programmes are written and overseen by Child Matters clinicians. Therapy Assistants attend regular meetings to learn via professional presentations and to share ideas.

 
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Carissa Lachmuth
Therapy Assistant

Bachelor of Arts (Major in Psychology)

Throughout my years working with children and young adults I have held many diverse positions. I completed my Bachelor of Arts (Major in Psychology) at UBC-Okanagan in Canada in 2012, and went on to specialise in special needs as a Certified Education Assistant working in several schools in Canada and Australia. I decided to further specialise to work with individuals with Autism and became a Behavioural Interventionist in Applied Behaviour Analysis. I have worked with young adults as a Community Support Worker, and youth and teen program director. All of these experiences exposed me to positions that have required versatility, a broad range of skills and knowledge, and patience and compassion to analyse and handle various challenging scenarios.

Working with individuals with special needs has provided me with valuable lessons in human nature and the confidence to be adaptable, flexible and engaging. I completely love the work I do, helping to encourage these individuals to be motivated, engaged, independent and empowered life-long learners. Knowing I am impacting these individuals everyday with my positive, outgoing, genuine personality, and seeing them grow, develop and open up to me is the best reward!

 
 
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Tania Pain
Therapy Assistant

Tania is a highly valued and experienced Therapy Assistant with Child Matters and has a very obvious passion and calling for working with children. She is a volunteer mentor at local schools and has been a volunteer wish-granter for the Starlight Children’s Foundation in the past. She is currently studying a Diploma in Counselling.

As a Therapy Assistant I am dedicated to my clients and work hard to achieve set goals in a fun and caring manner. I am motivated by the connections I make with the children and the results we achieve together. I love to see the children in the ABA program blossom and, those receiving Focused Therapy, work through their challenges. My goal is to bring out the best in each child and in doing so, help them feel better about themselves and understand that they are valued by others. I love my job!

Tania lives in Busselton and currently offers TA services to a number of clients in Bunbury and Dunsborough. Tania has experience in ABA Therapy as well as Focused Therapy for a range of children including those who experience anxiety.

 
 
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Charmaine Nordhoff
Therapy Assistant

Charmaine has been a very welcomed addition to the Therapy Assistant team with significant knowledge, skill and natural instincts when working with children. She has a Bachelor of Social Science and a Certificate III Teacher Assistant qualification. She has experience in ABA therapy as well as Focused Therapy for a range of children including those who experience anxiety. 

Charmaine has previously worked as an Education Assistant at a number of local schools. This has assisted her ability to communicate with children on their level, and gain an understanding of how language and social difficulties can impact on a child’s daily living and on interaction with their peers.

Charmaine lives in Busselton and currently offers Therapy Assistant services to a number of children in Busselton, Margaret River, Cowaramup and surrounding areas. In her role as a Therapy Assistant with Child Matters she has most enjoyed watching children’s confidence grow as they master new social skills, she loves to watch and hear about children putting learning into practice and seeing the many ways in which it enriches their lives.

 
 
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Sandra Tuck
Therapy Assistant

Sandra has a wealth of knowledge and experience with the important ability to provide a caring programme with clear boundaries so that children can relax and know exactly what the expectations are. Sandra has a Certificate III Teachers Assistant, 13 Years experience in Public Education as a Special Needs Education Assistant and has training and experience in the delivery of ABA and Focused Therapy. Sandra’s work has mainly been with students with Autism but also has had experience with children with behavioural issues, Global Development Delay, and Downs Syndrome. Sandra has worked with children from 3 to 15 years of age. Her previous work and experience has enabled her to communicate with children on all levels. Sandra lives in Bridgetown and currently offers TA services to a number of children in Bridgetown and the immediate surrounds. In her role as a Therapy Assistant with Child Matters she has enjoyed being able to receive a vast back up of knowledge and assistance from a highly professional team and the ability to continue developing herself and  the children she works with. 

 
 
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Kate Hibberd
Therapy Assistant

Originally from New Zealand and recently relocating to Margaret River, Kate completed her psychology degree in 2012 and is currently studying for a post-graduate certificate in Behaviour Analysis. Kate has worked and volunteered with children around the world for the past 10 years. Her work with children with ASD includes working as a respite working for the Red Cross, and as a behaviour therapist for ABA service providers in Perth. Kate is committed to helping children develop to their full potential and create connections with their peers and communities.

 I feel very lucky that I get to work with such wonderful and unique children and help them become the best versions of themselves they can be. It is really special to see a child learn a new skill that helps build their confidence or connect them with their peers and to see them grow under their therapy programmes.

 

Amy Cavanaugh
Therapy Assistant

Amy is from Australind and has an Advanced Diploma in Children’s services.   She has worked with children for over 20 years in the early childhood setting.  Amy currently works part time for the education department supporting children with special needs in the mainstream classroom. We are delighted to have her join the Child Matters team part time with a wealth of skills and experience and a desire to deliver focused one:one programmes with a range of children.  Amy is dedicated to being an advocate for children to assist them to learn and be socially connected to their families and communities.   

 

Nikki Sienkewitz
Therapy Assistant

Originally from the U.K. Nikki first came to Australia as a Psychology undergraduate, during which time she engaged in pilot work integrating young people with Autism into mainstream education and promoting the use of PECS. On completing her BSc (Hons.) degree Nikki engaged as an Early Intervention Therapist at the Autism Association of Western Australia. This work and her recognition of the holistic needs in supporting and advocating for families, motivated her to go on to gain her Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling and certificate in art therapy skills. During and post-qualification Nikki spent several years working with young people and families with a leading UK charity, enhancing her skills in one-to-one interventions, group work facilitation and effective multi-agency practices. 

Nikki is now a member of the Australian Counselling Association. Nikki has well-rounded and proficient skill in supporting and facilitating young peoples’ psychosocial, emotional and physical development. Nikki considers it a privilege to work alongside her clients and is motivated to do her best by them. She has a caring and creative approach in the activities she undertakes and loves to see children and adolescents ‘sparkle’ as they acquire new skills, succeed in overcoming their challenges and realise their potential. Nikki strives to manage a balance of empathy, acceptance and unconditional positive regard with fair and clear boundaries in her endeavour to create a safe and rewarding environment, thus enabling clients to take healthy risks, to learn and grow. Nikki is a wonderful new addition to our Child Matters team and will be working primarily in Dunsborough and Busselton.

 
 

And remember… Speech therapy provided on site by the wonderful Stepping Stones Speech Therapy Team