KU Annual Report 2010 - Page 12

Making the KU Difference Through innovation Liz Fulton Early Learning Inclusion Consultant Liz Fulton is an extremely dedicated advocate for children with additional needs and their families, and has a strong commitment to current research based practice. Liz was integral in KU’s successful application to establish the new KU Marcia Burgess Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre. As part of the planning for the centre Liz was involved in the research and selection of the innovative Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) which guides the staff’s interactions with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs). With Liz’s skills and leadership KU Marcia Burgess is the first children’s service in Australia to implement the ESDM. Liz has guided the centre’s staff through the rigorous ESDM training program with patience, encouragement, enthusiasm and a positive attitude. Liz was herself the first person in Australia to achieve recognition as a Certified Trainer of the model. Working with children who have Autism can be particularly challenging for even the most committed Research Projects During 2010 KU was involved in 11 research projects that were undertaken by universities and research agencies. In addition, KU is participating in two ongoing longitudinal studies: ‘What is life like for babies and toddlers in childcare?’ in partnership with Charles Sturt University and National Family Day Care; and ‘Social, Economic and Health Benefits of vaccinating children in day care centres against influenza’ in partnership with National Centre for Immunisation for Research and Surveillance, Children’s Hospital at Westmead. early childhood professionals, however Liz has supported the staff and empowered them to manage any situation with positive results, using new knowledge and skills. This award recognises the difference that Liz has made for children and families, through having the courage to pursue a new approach, and the dedication and commitment to ensure its success. About the KU Marcia Burgess Autism Centre When it opened in August, KU Marcia Burgess became the first and only Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centre in New South Wales, providing long day care based education for children with ASDs up to six years of age. Children and families can also access a full range of specialist support services including Paediatrics, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology and Psychology. These services are delivered thanks to KU’s partnerships with Sydney South West Area Health Service, The University of NSW and The Benevolent Society. The Early Learning and Care Centre Initiative is funded by the Australian Government. 12 KU Children’s Services