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A free seminar for parents and professionals who support preschoolers with learning, language and behaviour difficulties will take place in Brookvale on Tuesday 5 February.

Understanding Your Preschooler’s Learning and Behaviour will be presented by paediatric Occupational Therapists Dagney Hopp and Ellie Jamieson who will be joined by teacher Sonja Walker. Aimed at parents and teachers, the 90 minute workshop will explain how families and carers can meet children’s sensory needs so that they can communicate, learn and play appropriately.

Occupational Therapist Dagney Hopp is a specialist in sensory processing, one of the major factors in a child’s ability to respond appropriately to the situations they face each day,

“Children who experience sensory struggles can find it hard to ‘filter’ information and that this makes it difficult for them to pay attention, listen, look, speak, move, learn or relate appropriately to others,” she says.

Dagney explains that a child’s sensory system is a bit like a cup.

“When the cup receives too much input, it simply overflows. When this happens to children, they have difficulty thinking things through as their peers would. Their reactions may become inappropriate and their learning can be interrupted, all because they haven’t received the help they need to stay calm and control their reactions to their environment.”

Dagney and Ellie have supported hundreds of children with behaviour challenges and say that there are many simple ways to support children with sensory processing difficulties.

“Giving children opportunities to move, using a low tone of voice and meeting their needs for physical touch through appropriate deep pressure or weight bearing activity are just some of the easy ways that parents and teachers can help children with sensory integration needs to stay organised and calm,” Ellie Jamieson says.

Sonja Walker has been a teacher for more than 20 years and is the director of Kids First Children’s Services at Brookvale. She says that when emotion gets too much for preschoolers to handle, children aged 2 to 5 often experience behaviour and learning challenges.

“Small children are easily overwhelmed and this can lead to meltdowns of volcanic proportions,” she said. “In this free seminar, we will be focusing on helping parents to understand the things that overwhelm kids and giving them strategies to help their child to stay calm.”

Understanding Your Preschooler’s Learning and Behaviour is part of Kids First Children’s Services’ Community Service program. It is a free event, however, bookings are essential.

The evening seminar will take place on Tuesday 5 February at 7.30pm at the President’s Lounge, Brookvale Oval.  Free entry is via the main gate and ample parking is available in the main car park on Alfred Street.

For more information or to reserve a seat, visit www.kids-first.com.au or call 9938 5419

Photo: Occupational Therapist and Sensory Integration specialist Dagney Hopp with colleague Ellie Jamieson in the sensory gym at Kids First Children’s Services
  • Programs and seminars can be very helpful to parents.

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  • This is a really great idea.

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  • This sounds like a fantastic seminar

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  • This would be a great event for parents with preschool kids

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  • I wish they would run free events like this in Adelaide, lucky parents who went


    • Hopefully they branch out this programme to other states :)

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  • Fantastic program to helps parents to understand preschool behaviour .

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  • As the mother of a special needs child all I can say is early intervention is really all its hyped up to be!

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  • this is an insightful article for parents.

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  • Thanks for sharing this :)

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  • This sounds like a great program

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  • Awesome idea – thank you for sharing.

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  • What a great idea! so sorry to have missed it:(

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  • Too bad I missed this, I’m sure it was very insightful.

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  • Oh a brilliant read I need to go to preschool school,to help with miss lkiera some days. Wow one day great the next naughty the next wanting to sit on my lap all day…

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  • A good read, thanks for sharing

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