What is Project KIDS?A_261012gentelethon2

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.

View our testimonials.

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.

If you would like to know more about our team, please see the researchers link.

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.

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.

Can my child bring a friend?

We invite all children to bring a friend or sibling if they wish. There are some restrictions on the age of the friend but usually we can accommodate friends, or brothers and sisters. Some children prefer to come with someone they know while others enjoy making new friends. We make sure that each child has the chance to feel part of the group.

What should my child bring?

We ask you to send a sunhat and weather-suitable clothing.

Any medication must be clearly labelled with your child’s name, date of birth and clear instructions.

We provide lunch and healthy snacks for all children. You can let us know if your child has special dietary needs.