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Berry Street's Take Two program provides mental health therapeutic services for children and young people who have experienced abuse, neglect and family violence.

It’s thought that at least half of the children and young people Take Two works with have communication difficulties. This can contribute to feelings of anxiety and frustration that might lead to social isolation, aggression or depression when they can’t understand what others are telling them or express themselves properly.

Monica joined Berry Street Take Two as our Senior Speech Pathologist in early 2019. She brings more than 20 years of speech pathology experience working at the Royal Children’s Hospital in the Specialist Autism Team and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) teams. She also brings expertise from her work in private practice, with schools and in the Early in Life Mental Health Service at Monash Children’s Hospital.

With a strong interest in providing speech therapy for children and young people with autism, severe communication impairments and learning difficulties, Monica is a great asset to the Berry Street’s Take Two Developmental Specialists team.

She’ll be consulting to Take Two clinicians across the state on individual cases, including supporting them to identify those who might have an unrecognised communication difficulty and helping them better understand how to assist those children and young people with identified speech or language impairments. She’ll be providing strategies for clinicians to use in their work with the child and their care team so they can get around the challenges and better communicate.

Monica will also be undertaking research about communication and language difficulties among the children who use Take Two’s services. Research conducted by others indicates it’s likely that at least half the children and young people Take Two works with are affected.

Source: Based on numerous published research papers, including Sylvestre, A., Bussières, È.-L., & Bouchard, C. (2016). Language Problems Among Abused and Neglected Children: A Meta-Analytic Review. Child Maltreatment, 21(1), 47–58.

“I’m really enjoying working with kids from diverse language backgrounds,” Monica says, “as well as working with foster carers and schools to help overcome communication troubles so that the kids can get the most out of learning and relationships.”

“I was aware of Berry Street and Take Two through my work at Royal Children’s Hospital and was always impressed with the skill and advocacy of the clinicians, as well as the complexities inherent in the work.”

Berry Street’s Take Two service is very grateful to the Kelly Family Foundation which has funded Monica’s position three days a week for three years.

Would you like to work with us? Check Berry Street’s current vacancies.

About Take Two

Take Two is a Victoria-wide outreach service provided by Berry Street on behalf of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services. The service is recognised all over the world as a leading model of how best to support children and young people who have experienced complex developmental trauma. Take Two can provide specialist clinical consultancy services to organisations.

By Jen Willis, Communications Consultant, Berry Street – Take Two