Paediatric occupational therapist
BSc (OT)North Lakes
Melissa Kyriakacis is passionate about working with children, partnering with families to overcome barriers and challenges impacting daily life. She focuses on helping each child to reach their full potential by supporting them to be as independent as possible in all areas of their life and to participate in everyday activities including self-care, play and leisure.
Melissa’s speciality areas are sensory processing, regulation, play and social skills. Her approach is effective, innovative and engaging, as well as evidence based.
She studied at Curtin University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science (Occupational Therapy) (BSc OT) in 2009. Melissa is dedicated to ongoing professional development and is invested in being a lifelong learner. She actively participates in workshops, seminars and training events that are relevant to sensory processing, regulation and developing resilient children and families.
She has worked in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney, and now in Brisbane as a hands-on Paediatric Occupational Therapist. She has led and coordinated allied health services, provided supervision and support to junior Occupational Therapists as well as working in specialised clinics.
At Paeds in a Pod, she assesses each child’s abilities with a strengths-based lens. With a clear understanding of any difficulties, she develops a well-considered, customised treatment plan. She then works with the child and their family to
make a positive difference.
She connects easily and naturally with the children she sees. She loves to play and encourage children to freely speak their mind and share their view of the world with imagination and excitement.
She also enjoys celebrating the wins along with way with the children and their families. Whether it’s a child participating in a class mat session, a child brushing their teeth independently, or parents using practical tools in everyday scenarios to make life easier.
One of Melissa’s greatest professional achievements is attending Camp Jabiru in regional New South Wales. The aim of the camp is for children to have a typical camp experience with the addition of therapeutic intervention to support and facilitate successful individual participation and group experience. The camp is physically challenging for the children, but the rewards are many. Melissa will attend the camp for the fourth time in 2020.
Melissa has two adorable dogs and is very interested in animal-assisted therapy. She would love one day to train one of her furry friends as an OT assistant!
Further information and resources
- Sensory Processing Disorder Australia – support and advocacy service
- Early Childhood Intervention Australia – information and resources for families
- Kelly Maher: Interoception – information, publications and online resources
- The Zones of Regulation – a concept to foster self-regulation and emotional control