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Project KIDS

What is Project KIDS?

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Project KIDS is a research program based at Murdoch University. Our team is committed to understanding how children grow and how young brains develop. In understanding how children grow it is important to investigate the unfolding of learning and reasoning abilities, as well as understanding emotional development and how children move from a focus on their own needs to learning to get on with others.

Sometimes a child’s development can be interrupted or effected by things that happen to them. We are committed to understanding the effect of prenatal experience, as well as illness, injury or trauma during infancy or early childhood. Each of these experiences can impact in different ways.

Who comes to Project KIDS?
Since 1995 more than 2500 children have been part of the Project KIDS program.

Mostly children of primary school age come to Project KIDS though sometimes we have special days for younger children or teenagers. Sometimes children are referred or invited along for individual assessment but mostly we have days when groups of up to 24 children come along. We find that children enjoy being around other children and having shared play and activity time.Project Kids Group 1 of 1.jpg

Who is in the Project KIDS team?

Professor Mike Anderson and Associate Professor Corinne Reid began Project KIDS nearly twenty years ago.

Every year since then they have trained postgraduate students to work with children and conduct specialist neurodevelopmental assessments.

Our team includes multidisciplinary colleagues who work with children at schools and also those who work with children with vulnerabilities due to premature birth, illness or injury. Some are paediatricians who work in our local children’s hospitals. Others are neuropsychologists, nurses, mental health nurses, speech pathologists and occupational therapists who have a special interest in working with children that may have neurodevelopmental challenges.

We also work with colleagues overseas including some at Edinburgh University and Oxford University. This helps us to keep up to date with the latest research and practice.

Which staff will be there on the day that my child attends Project KIDS?

There is always a senior qualified staff member present throughout the day at Project KIDS. In addition there is always a team of researchers and trainee psychologists so that there is never less than one trained staff member for every three children.

At different times during the day other specialist staff may visit with us to help with specialist assessments. For example, in some studies we are interested in physical growth and so nurses come along to help us measure weight and height. When we have days for children with medical conditions we have a visiting specialist doctor or paediatrician on site.
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What will my child do at Project KIDS?

Your child will have a chance to play a range of games and complete a number of different activities that are designed to help us understand how they solve problems and how they learn. This includes computer games and paper and pencil puzzles. We also have an amazing ‘cap’ that children can wear that shows us and them which parts of their brain works hardest during particular activities. Each day at Project KIDS involves outside games and activities too as well as making slime, doing fizzing experiments and having a dance competition! We find that children have a great time and can find many things to enjoy amongst the day’s activities. We take care to notice and accommodate each child’s strengths and preferences.

tests 1 of 1.jpgWhat is the Project KIDS brain-training program?
After children have visited us they sometimes decide that they would like to be part of our computer game brain-training program. This lasts for 5 weeks and involves playing some special computer games each night to see how much they can improve. Each week one of the Project KIDS team gives you and your child a call to see how you are going and help to chart their progress! When you have finished your child is invited to come back to Project KIDS to do some more puzzles and see how much they have improved. We enjoy meeting up with kids again to hear about what they have been doing. After three or six months we check in again to see if the brain training has helped in your child’s learning.

Find more information regarding Project KIDS here