Creating Inspirations

Today I was going to talk to you about how inspirations is an important part of feeling positive and motivated and how we all need it.  But today I’m in Melbourne with my gorgeous sister and her family, so I thought I’d write to you instead….(just because my gorgeous 13month old niece was going to make it difficult to talk over!)…..

Today I was thinking about the role of inspiration and how having that inspiration can have a ripple affect.  One of the aspects of my job, as I see it, is to inspire others.  And although that’s not something that I set out to do by my behaviour, it’s always great if something I do inspires others.

More specifically in the therapy room, I want to give my clients feelings of hope, positivity and inspiration when they think of themselves and who they are and what they can be. 

Often many of my children and teen clients have developed not so positive ideas of themselves, whether it’s because they are struggling to manage emotions, have difficulties with friends or have conflict within their families. 

Part of their journey of discovering that they are autistic is showing them examples of how being themselves is a really great thing, but that also showing them people who are also autistic, having done extraordinary things that everyone admires and is grateful for.  I want them to believe that being successful or being accepted can happen because they are autistic-and how exactly their autistic differences have helped them. 

So as part of building this process, we talk about autistic people who have done great things in history, and great individuals that are currently doing things.  I show them books of autistic individuals, we look up individuals who have had impact in different fields, hoping that this has a positive impact.  I want them to begin to look at their differences as strengths, not deficits. 

The way we talk about the difference of others, really does make an impact on how we conceptualise this difference, so I’d definitely encourage you to have conversations like these with your young person/young people as often as you can, with this in mind. 

This is not to be confused with pressuring them to have to achieve at a high level to be admired, but that showing admiration for individuals who are just like them to the core.  So paying attention to rather than excluding this group of individuals is a way of encouraging admiration of autistic people and what they can accomplish.

We all need inspiration from others who have gone before us, I know I need it to do the work that I do in trying to expand the message to many people. 

And….children and teens are no different. 

They are always looking for role models, for examples to live by, for things to look to as what can be possible.  So by opening up the awareness that there are many, many individuals that have led inspirational lives, just might help inspire your child to begin (or continue) thinking of themselves in a really positive way.

Happy Friday to you and your family!


Fresh Vibes




I’ve been needing some inspiration, some injection of newness for my
cooking and the recipies we eat as a family for quite a while!
While in the first lockdown, we trialled and enjoyed Hello Fresh, I’d much
rather be able to do fast, delicious food without out the added freight
expense that happens when you live where we do!

Last year for my birthday, I was given a Thermomix and I have slowly
been learning how to use it (as has my husband…) and two of my sisters
are quite enthusiastic users of it and of a particular recipe maker. And
their food is always soo yummy and although I don’t really enjoy
cooking, I do like nice flavoured food, that is easy to cook!

So this year, my sister wanted the most recent book put out by this
particular creator-SkinnyMixers. So I went onto the site to purchase it
for her and just decided that I needed all of their books (I did already
have and enjoy using one of theirs and it’s quite good!). So over the
next few months, I now have no more excuses not to get some great
meals learnt! It is time to put some fresh vibes into my cooking and into
the meals that we eat.

Plus I am going to get the kids learning as well, so they can cook for me! Wish me luck in this endeavour and maybe I’ll even share how some of the recipes turn out!

Sliding door moments




One of those moments that has had seemed like a happy coincidence, but
was maybe more than that, which has had a big impact on my life, was when
I was looking for rental space over two years ago.
For a number of years, I knew that I wanted my own therapy offices, so that
my business would get to know my name and to have it set up exactly how I
wanted it to.
I was chatting with a friend who would also end up using the office space
with me a few days of week as a location for her role, and she mentioned
another business owner that she knew well, that was also looking for a
bigger premises. This person I actually knew as I had been at the same
school about 7 years before (her as a teacher, me as the school
psychologist) and our sisters were actually close friends.
So although our paths had not crossed much in the years prior, we began to
chat about buildings and that if she was looking for a tenant, I would be
keen. What transpired was that we began to look at buildings together and
as we talked it seemed that our ideas about what we wanted was quite similar and that our businesses could work well in the same space.
Following on from that, within a few months we had secured a building for a
and at the end of 2018 Side by Side Psychology had it’s first actual home
and Bright Futures Mildura obtained a bigger premises a few doors down
from where it had been.
The past two years has seen times of enormous growth, fun, challenges and
excitement as we have enjoyed working alongside one another and also
created a partnership named Bright Side Learning and Therapy which we run
our groups and collaborative projects out of.
The business ideas, support and friendship that has emerged has been
wonderful and not something that I was looking for nor envisaged when I
was looking for a building to lease!
Sometimes life has a way of putting opportunities and amazing things in
front of you and it’s important to take them and see where it might lead!

Happy 2 years to us at 161 Lime Avenue!

Alternative Career




If I could not be a psychologist in the way that I am, what would I be doing
I had thought in previous times, that if I couldn’t be in my private practice
and could not be creating the online programs that I’m currently doing, I
could still work in another setting.
However when I’ve thought of returning into an organisation like a mental
health service or school- jus so I could just work for someone else without
the responsibility of running my own business, whilst I would still get to be
seeing clients, which I love to do, it’s not a work environment that would be a
preferred alternative.
Thinking more broadly, I used to love art creation and I still enjoy this as a
hobby, so maybe creating children’s books or illustrations could be fun, or even writing books might be something I could enjoy. Or, I love cats and
kittens, could I be a cat breeder?! No, Probably not.
Because when I’m pushed to think of what I can see myself doing if I didn’t
do what I do, I really can’t see myself doing things much more different from
what I am already doing.
I’m currently creating the opportunities to reach more people by moving into
an online space, and in the future I’d love to do more presentations and
maybe begin a podcast so I can talk with other people that are interested in
doing the kind of work that I do. My dream career is really being able to help
as many people as I can-but all in all, I would be continuing the work that I’m
already doing.

What about for you? Do you have a dream career alternative that you could
see yourself doing?

Kate x

White Lies




The discussion about lies and white lies is an interesting one to have,
particularly with children as the enter into middle to late primary school and
especially into the teen years. Lying can be simultaneously be viewed as
both an antisocial and a socially appropriate behaviour.

Telling the truth is generally viewed as a positive behaviour, that enhances
trust in one another. However as relationships begin to be more
complicated, the notion of a white lie or learning to omit certain truths
emerges as an additional positive social behaviour.

This is a topic that frequently arises in my work with children and teens on
the Spectrum, because telling white lies, which are lies that are told with the
intention to preserve the feelings of others, ventures into the ‘grey’ zone of
what can be considered ‘good’ social behaviour, whilst also being a lie,
which is considered a ‘bad’ social behaviour.

Telling a white lie and learning to understand why they are considered
socially acceptable, means understanding that social relationship rules are
not absolute or black and white. That telling white lies means we have developed flexible thinking about another person and have and tried to make
guesses about how the truth versus the lie will be viewed.

There are many instances that white lies are told, however if you have a child
on the Spectrum and they are confused by the apparent contradiction that
happens around lying, it might be important to learn about the values that
many neurotypicals have, which is valuing the relationship connection over
absolute truth and honesty. Learning about these differences can be helpful
in navigating the complexities of lies and white lies and their specific

Certainly the white lies that have been told in our family include the Easter
Bunny, Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy! And whilst I think my children are
gradually learning to understand that these have been told to preserve the
magic of childhood, I have seen the other side in my work children, the
distress that finding out that they have been ‘lied’ to for years and the
process of trying to understand this contradiction.
So while this may not mean you don’t every utilise a white lie, in your
household it is worthwhile considering whether it is something that your child
understands yet.

Kate x

Desert or Rainforest





Living where I do, although not a desert, it can sometimes feel like it, with the
dryness and heat we experience, so I am certainly drawn to the humidity and
greenery of the rainforest, because it is such a contrast.
The picture I’ve shown here is a trip that we did in 2014 to Daydream Island,
Queensland where we got to explore on foot as well as zip-lining through the
tree tops, which was just beautiful. I love the sounds of the rainforest, the
warmth in the air and just the vibrancy of the colours is amazing.
And though I enjoy visiting our own mini-desert -those of our Perry Sandhills
just outside of Wentworth, I was super-impressed by some even bigger
dunes we discovered on our last trip to Queensland. We visited Moreton

Island which is mostly just flat beaches and dolphins, but to our surprise, it
has massive sand dunes in it’s centre, which we all got to slide down. But
apart from being able to admire the sheer expanse of this kind of landscape,
it’s not all that particularly enjoyable to be in it for too long, as it’s exposing,
sandy and so hot.
So if I had to choose where I got to spend more time, the rainforest or the
desert, the rainforest would definitely be my preference.
And I don’t even care that my hair becomes a frizzy curly mess when we are
in the tropics!
In fact, am feeling excited about the possibility that we may be able to book
some trips outside our state very soon!

Happy Thursday,

Kate x

Donate to Causes





Donate to causes such as Light up the Night-Lukemia Foundation as it has
affected those who are close to me. I’ve also supported RCH Butterfly
House, which is the intensive care wing in the Royal Children’s Hospital,
where my nephew was born and care for across his 45 days of living with us.
I also like to give to a charity called Rio’s Legacy which raises money for
hospices which is a home for terminally ill children and their families to live.

Currently there is only two in Australia and they aim to raise money to have
one in each state. This hits home because of how important this can be at
end of life and I personally know the parents that set this up in Sydney. And
in my family’s case when my nephew was at the end of his life, we were
fortunate that there they had a home in Melbourne they could live in for the
last few days just to not be in a hospital environment and allow my sister and
brother-in-law to be with their son, give him a bath and get some beautiful
photos of the twins together. Most other families are unable to have that
experience as there is no such hospice in Melbourne and most of the other

I’ve also recently become aware of and supported efforts for Making Waves
for PCD-for awareness and equipment for PCD-a rare lung and respiratory
disease that affects two local familes.

Causes that affect people that I know personally .

Sponsored a child for years, which in effect is a donation to the projects in a
particular area-World Vision.
Giving is the best forms of happiness creation, without expectation of getting
anything back except good feels!

Loves of my life




To pick one love of my life seems so absolute, and I’m a person that
generally embraces all the shades of grey. But if I have to state
something that is absolutely, unequivocally the love of my life. It would
be my children. When I was a young woman, it was very clear to me
that I had a strong desire to be a mother, and that when I became a
parent, I was going to do whatever it took to become the best mother I
could be.
This has meant sacrifice and it has meant having a commitment to
always learning, always trying to be better. But I have to say, with three daughters -one a teenager, one a tween and one that is eight, most days I feel it’s working out fairly well.
That’s not so say there are not days when I want to yell (WT actual F?!),
but most of the time I hold those thoughts inside, take a deep breath
and remember how amazing they are much of the time! I remember
that they are growing up to be their own person, learning about
friendship and love themselves. And that no matter what mistakes they
make, no matter how old they become, I will always love them. And I
hope that they carry this love inside them throughout their own life, like I
do from my own parents.
My love for my children also carries through to the values that follow me
into my work with the kids and teens that I work with-in that I really
believe that all children deserve that kind of unwavering belief in them.
And that if they have this conviction that they are loved for just being
themselves through and through, then there is nothing that they cannot
get through, there is nothing that is so bad that they can’t share it and
nothing that you cannot accomplish with the support of your family and
those that care about you. It’s that conviction that allows me to provide
acceptance, empathy and support in all that I do. And from this very
safe space, it can allow them to feel understood and able to form a
connection and relationship, upon which lots of great self development
and new skills and accomplishments can be built.
So the the loves of my life (my girls), allow me to feel filled with a joy,
that flows my cup over, to allows me to easily work with other young
people in a truly caring and compassionate way.

Kate x