Category Archives: Health team

Brando – Therapy Dog

Brando – Therapy Dog

 

Brando is the canine companion of Kids First psychologist, Lincoln Comans.

As cute and friendly as he looks, Brando also plays an important clinical role because his ‘boss’, Lincoln, has extensive training in Animal Assisted Intervention therapies for kids.

Brando helps children to build trust, self-esteem and the courage to talk about tough topics.

He is a very effective ‘social lubricant’ and many children find it easier to talk about big feelings, worries and problems in Brando’s comforting presence.

International studies have shown that the inclusion of animals in therapeutic settings can make a big difference to the outcomes that children can achieve. For example, animals have been shown to:

  • Support people with Autism Spectrum Disorder symptoms to build more positive social interactions and communication skills
  • Help children with behavioural problems such as verbal resistance, aggression, violence & compliance with rules by giving immediate feedback that helps them to better manage their responses
  • Assist children and young adults experiencing issues such as anxiety, fear and depression by providing opportunities for positive interactions that build emotional well-being and self-esteem

Brando knows when he is ‘on duty’ and helps Lincoln to provide a sense of calm, comfort and safety in psychology and counselling sessions.

Brando (and Lincoln!) work at Kids First on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Lincoln Comans – Psychologist

Lincoln Comans – Psychologist

  Lincoln has supported hundreds of children during his career and his work as a school counsellor in primary and high schools uniquely positions him to provide advice and guidance to families about children’s learning and behaviour. Lincoln is well-known for his innovative use of Animal Assisted Interventions and his trusty companion, Brando the Therapy… Continue Reading

Odile Lassemillante – Speech Pathologist

Odile Lassemillante – Speech Pathologist

  Odile is a highly qualified paediatric speech pathologist who has helped hundreds of children learn to speak, listen, learn and enjoy success in their daily lives. Prior to joining the Kids First team, Odile worked in a prominent multi-disciplinary paediatric practice in Singapore. Fluent in both English and French, she has years of experience… Continue Reading

Kate Kartikeyan – Psychologist

Kate Kartikeyan – Psychologist

Kate is a highly experienced psychologist and fully qualified Special Education teacher. Throughout her long career, she has supported children and families with a variety of needs, helping them to overcome the social and emotional challenges they face in a kind and compassionate way. Kate’s unique combination of skills gives her a deep understanding of… Continue Reading

Chloe Clark – Occupational Therapist

Chloe Clark – Occupational Therapist

Chloe is a highly skilled Occupational Therapist whose passion for paediatrics is evident in everything she does. Her work in community, preschool and school environments means that she has had lots of opportunities to guide children of all ages and the energy she brings to her OT sessions is infectious. Chloe’s aim is to help… Continue Reading

Felicity Lear – Speech Pathologist

Felicity Lear – Speech Pathologist

Felicity is an experienced speech pathologist who graduated from the University of Sydney in 2004. Throughout her career she has worked in private practice and educational settings where she has supported babies, toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged children with a wide variety of speech, language and literacy challenges. As the mother of three children, Felicity combines her personal… Continue Reading

Michael Gamble – Speech Pathologist

Michael Gamble – Speech Pathologist

Michael is a highly trained paediatric speech pathologist with a strong reputation for providing children with creative and engaging speech therapy that focuses on their individual needs. Prior to joining the Kids First team, Michael worked for a highly respected children’s charity delivering speech therapy to disadvantaged children in Sydney preschools and schools. He has… Continue Reading

Louella Covich – Psychologist

Louella Covich – Psychologist

Psychologist Louella Covich is passionate about helping families find solutions to the problems that children and young people face. Louella is well-known in the northern beaches for her work in private practice, not for profit and community settings where she has been supporting children, parents and carers with a variety of needs for more than 15 years. As… Continue Reading

Laura Simmons – Occupational Therapist

Laura Simmons – Occupational Therapist

Laura is an experienced paediatric Occupational Therapist and Feeding Therapist who supports children aged 2 to 18 years. She has worked extensively with children who struggle with conditions like Autism Spectrum Disorders, sensory processing concerns, ADHD, Down Syndrome and other developmental delays. Laura has worked extensively with children who have additional learning, sensory and behavioural needs… Continue Reading