Issue 40 - July 2021

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Practitioner Availability

Dr. Alex Ryan
: Monday, Tuesday, Friday, Saturday

Kuan Teoh: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

Kerry Mayes: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday

Ashlee Breen-Ellis: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Sabrina Chou: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

Linda Bleckly: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

Claudia Campestre: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
Dates for Your Diary

Wednesday 1st September to Friday 10th September - Linda on leave

If you would like to reschedule a regular appointment that will be missed due to staff leave or public holidays, please feel free to contact us and we will add you to our cancellations list.

How to help children and young people with COVID-19 related fear and anxiety

For some children and young people, adapting to COVID-normal life may be hard. Here’s what you can do to help them cope.

For many school-aged kids and young people, it is particularly disruptive, causing school shutdowns, the cancellation of milestone events and taking catch-ups with friends and family off the table.

If you worried about how that would affect your kids moving forward, you’re in good company.

This report published by the Australian Childhood Foundation in September 2020 found that almost a third of parents were concerned that the effects of COVID-19 would have lasting mental health impacts on their children, such as heightened anxiety and stress.

“Some children may be experiencing COVID-related anxiety,” says Kirrilie Smout, a clinical psychologist specialising in the mental health of children and adolescents.

“This may stem from disappointment and sadness about what they might have lost – like a significant event such as a graduation – or anxiety about what new threats they may have to manage. Ongoing stress around their family’s financial situation as a result of COVID can also contribute.”

How to look for warning signs

According to Smout, some groups of children may be more at risk of experiencing anxiety due to the pandemic than others.

“Kids who were dealing with mental health concerns prior to the pandemic, those whose parents have been more negatively affected in an ongoing way, and children who had a bigger disruption to their lives, like a longer lockdown period, may be more likely to experience COVID-related anxiety,” she says.

As for warning signs, Smout stresses that it varies considerably between different individuals.

“So, instead of a checklist of specific things to look out for, it’s important for parents to continue spending time and noticing how their children are acting and feeling, and to spot if there are any significant changes.”

If you’re worried, ask other people who are close to your children like grandparents or teachers if they’ve noticed any changes.

“Sometimes kids will talk to other adults in their life about things that they don’t always bring up with their parents,” says Smout.

Smout suggests acting on any concerns or changes in behaviour that stay around for more than a few days.

“Whether that’s noticing that your child’s moods are more up and down. Or perhaps they seem withdrawn or teary. Again, it’s less about specific signs and more about noticing things that are different or have changed for your child.”

You may find this article about how to recognise anxiety in your child helpful.

What you can do to support your children

This will differ depending on whether your child is five, 10 or 15, but Smout says, regardless of age, the following core principles remain the same.

Ask questions

The more you know about what’s worrying your child, the more you can support them.

“Asking questions can help you understand what they’re really dealing with rather than making assumptions,” she says.

For example, if a COVID outbreak means your child’s school might be at risk of closing as part of a snap lockdown and you’ve noticed a change in their behaviour, you could ask “What are you most worried about if that happens?” or “What would be the hardest thing about that for you?”

“Questions are useful for more than information-gathering,” says Smout.

“They’re also a way to show care and to help your children understand and manage their emotions, regardless of their age.”

She says a good rule of thumb is to ask three questions before making a statement of your own.

“And if you get ‘I don’t know’ responses to your questions, which is to be expected, particularly when children are younger, you could say, ‘My guess is you’re worried you might miss your swimming carnival or, ‘I know you felt bored and lonely the last time we had to home school and I think you might be worried it’ll happen again.’

“Asking ‘How can I help make that better?’ or ‘What would help you come up with a plan to deal with that?’ can help turn this into an opportunity as a parent to help your child develop their problem-solving skills.

“Keep in mind though that older children and teenagers are entitled to their privacy, so make sure your questions aren’t too intrusive,” adds Smout.

Provide care, affection and encouragement

“A warm, supportive relationship between parent and child is one of the best ways to support good mental health in children,” says Smout.

“So, keep providing warmth, care, affection, open conversation and quality time together.”

You can also encourage your children to be open about any COVID-related things or situations that are still worrying them.

“Ongoing avoidance of things they’re afraid of usually makes anxiety worse, so encourage them to slowly do the things that scare them,” says Smout.

Encourage healthy behaviours

This can start with helping your kids stay connected to their peers.

“Children and teens who have good friendships tend to have better mental health than those who don’t. So, as well as encouraging exercise, good nutrition and getting enough quality sleep, it’s important to keep nurturing friendship opportunities and helping your child develop good interpersonal skills.”

Additional resources

This article provides advice for parents on how to alleviate fear and worry in children, and find out how to support an anxious child here.

ReachOut has a selection of resources to help young people (age 14 to 25) deal with change.

Find out how mindfulness can help support your child’s wellbeing here.

This article gives advice on how to talk to children about scary stuff in the news, while this article provides tips on how to spot changes in behaviour in your child as a result of watching a scary or traumatic news event.

Content provided by Beyond Blue

Assessments at Good Start Psychology

Testing and assessments at Good Start Psychology have always been thorough.
We offer a wide range of standardised intellectual (IQ) assessments for determining the cognitive capacity of clients. These assessments help inform differential diagnosis of intellectual disability and ensure that our client’s strengths/weaknesses are appropriately supported.

Good Start Psychology recently purchased a new assessment measure that extends the age range of our testing procedure.
The Wechsler Preschool and Primary scale of intelligence (WPPSI) is for children aged 2 years and 6 months to 7 years and 7 months. The assessment content caters towards younger examinees by using age-appropriate stimuli such as toys, colourful animals, colour stamping and simplified wording.
The WPPSI, along with all our available IQ assessments, have been standardised to an Australian population to provide the most accurate outcomes when comparing results.

The testing procedure takes approximately 30-60 minutes for the WPPSI. A full report detailing the child’s overall IQ, five subsets of cognitive functioning and recommendations based of performance, is provided.

With the inclusion of the WPPSI our age range for IQ testing is now between 2 years and 6 months to 90 years.
Furthermore, Good Start Psychology offers additional assessments for academic, functional achievement and behavioural testing that can inform both parents and therapists of a client’s potential strengths/weaknesses.

A full list of assessments offered at Good Start Psychology is below:


If you would like further information or to book an assessment, please feel free to call us on 72864939

In the Spotlight.....


At Good Start Psychology we love to celebrate the achievements of our clients!
Damien Wachla is a talented and ambitious 19 year old whose creative pursuits have seen him enjoying many successes and accolades in the performing arts, both back stage and on stage! We asked Damien a few questions about his recent projects.

1. How have you been involved in the performing arts?

My involvement in Now Productions started in 2020 when I volunteered to do backstage work in 'Les Miserables'. But then the show got postponed, because of COVID-19. But then in March 2021, the show finally got onto the stage. It was a great time and everyone had a blast. Since then, I've also done stage work for Now Productions' recent performance of 'Annie'. I've also performed in Now Play, having recently completed the first play which was entitled 'I'm Cured', and the upcoming play entitled 'Exclusive'. I've also performed in two feature films by Now Productions, 'Ten Four' and the upcoming film 'Agent Percash: Rewind'.
Aside from Now Productions, I've also created my own sketch comedy show which is entitled 'WachlaVision', and is currently in production for it's second season.

2. What have been the best parts of your involvement?

The best part about acting, especially in sketch comedy, is that you can be anything you set your mind to. Whether that would be an astronaut, a private investigator, a football player, there's really no limits. But I think the best part about my involvement with Now Productions is all the really good friends I've made.

3. What are the most challenging parts?

The most challenging part about backstage work is that some of the props are really heavy to lift.

4. What are your future goals and dreams?

My goal is to create original shows. My next venture will probably be a sitcom of some sort.
Congratulations Damien!

Want to WIN $100 and have your art featured in the 2022 Police Credit Union calendar?

Simply enter their Kids’ Art Competition by drawing a picture that best describes your favourite thing to do in South Australia or the Northern Territory.

Each artwork will be judged by the Police Credit Union Art Competition Panel. They are looking for unique images, bright colours, creativity, skill and effective use of space. This year they’re allowing multiple submissions per child, so there are even more chances to WIN!

There are 13 major prizes to be won. Each winner will receive $100 and their artwork will be featured in the 2022 Police Credit Union Calendar.

Artwork Competition Requirements

1. Landscape format
2. Minimum A4 size
3. High resolution (recommended 300dpi)

The competition is open to children under the age of 16 and living in SA or NT.

Entrants must provide Police Credit Union with their full name, age, current residential address, contact phone number and email address. Police Credit Union will only use these personal details for administration of the competition.

Please include the following information in the caption:

1. Artist’s name
2. Artist’s age
3. What is the artist’s favourite thing to do in SA/NT? (25 words or less)

Artwork must be submitted at high resolution (recommend 300dpi), landscape format, minimum A4 size by 5pm, 31 August 2021.



Online Content & Activities for Kids | SA Museum 

Content for Connection is a portal to the South Australian Museum’s stories, exhibitions, programs, research, and more, where you can explore the wonders of life on Earth from the safety of your home. There are activity packs for kids and plenty of online content for kids and adults.

Activity Packs: Download an activity pack for some ideas on how to explore the Museum, as well as activities you can do at home.

Young Explorers: Sing along at home with the Young Explorers team.

Her Story: Inspiring Women in STEM

Her Story celebrates women, who have always made and continue to make significant contributions to science.
By sharing the stories of women scientists we present visible role models who can inspire, encourage and motivate the next generation of young women to follow their dreams and pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

Learning and fun

From learning how to become a citizen scientist to knowing how to explore your backyard biodiversity, there’s plenty of fun that can still be had while at home.
Visit some of the Museum’s timeless displays, and download resources to ignite minds of all ages.


Whenever you’re stuck inside and searching for something new to do, #STEMyourBoredom is here to help. Learn from the Museum’s community programs team, researchers and collection managers about what ignites their minds with wonder. Learn how to create patterns on fabric from home, and how to make your very own stink bug!

Take a virtual tour

Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to explore the Museum out of hours? In 2016 the Museum opened its doors to the Google Cultural Institute during the early hours of the morning. The institute used Street View technology to provide interactive panoramas from positions throughout the South Australian Museum.

Google Cultural Institute features content from over 2,000 leading museums and archives institutions to bring the world’s best cultural displays to life.


Our mailing address is:
8 Bayer Road Elizabeth South SA 5112

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Good Start Psychology · 8 Bayer Road · Elizabeth South, SA 5112 · Australia

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