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.
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 with 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.
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.
LANI CASTAN: 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).
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.
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.
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.
CHARMAINE NORDHOFF – Therapy Assistant
Charmaine has been a very welcome 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.
SANDRA TUCK – Therapy Assistant
Sandra is a wealth of knowledge and experience with that important ability to provide a caring programme with clear boundaries so children can relax and know exactly what the expectation is. 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.
KATE HIBBERED – 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 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
RHIANNON ROBINSON – junior receptionist
Rhiannon joins the team on a part time basis as she embarks on her university / future career. She intends to study psychology and travel both internationally and locally to broaden her horizons. I wanted to work at Child Matters because I believe that by working there I can gain inimitable experience working in the field of psychology before fully applying myself to the subject, and it has worked! My wish to study psychology is much stronger since starting work at Child Matters.