About Us

Leading Assessment & Treatment Centre in Sydney

Our Practice

Our practice was first was opened in 2006 with the aim of creating a multi-disciplinary centre of cognitive assessment and treatment in NSW. Our clinic is highly unique in that we have neuropsychologists conducting our cognitive testing and therefore can offer much more in-depth and comprehensive cognitive and neuropsychological assessments. We have one of the largest testing libraries in NSW, have the latest scientifically proven tests, and offering the highest level of standardised assessment possible.

Sydney Cognitive Development Centre Reception
Sydney Cognitive Development Centre Reception Area

Our Philosophy

Our philosophy is that we don’t just want to diagnose developmental disorders like ADHD and learning disabilities, but rather we want to identify the specific cognitive deficits underlying these disorders – so that rather than providing a ‘band-aid’ solution we can treat the root cause of the condition in the most precise manner. We feel this is best done through formally assessing core cognitive skills like memory, attention, visual processing, auditory processing, planning/organisation etc. Once the core cognitive weakness (or even weaknesses) are identified, then treatment can be specific to the precise processing weaknesses underlying these disorders.

We are the first clinic in NSW to actually provide comprehensive cognitive training programs that are uniquely designed for the individual and broad ranging, according to the specific neuropsychological skill. Our most unique feature unlike other cognitive training programs is that all our programs are conducted individually so that we can train children in the functional skills they need in everyday life and generalise the skills they learn in cognitive training to the real world. We have clinicians with extensive experience in the following areas:

Neuropsychological/ cognitive assessment

Educational assessment & diagnosis of learning disabilities

Psychological assessment

Cognitive training

Psychological therapy

Neurofeedback

Dr Shelley Louise Hyman Senior Clinical Neuropsychologist Sydney

Our Director

Dr Shelley Louise Hyman

Senior Clinical Neuropsychologist

BSc (psychol) Hons, MClinNeuropsych, PhD (Med) MAPS CCN

Dr Shelley Louise Hyman is the director of the centre and she founded this centre in 2006 after returning to Australia, being inspired by the comprehensiveness of treatment centres overseas. She aimed to take Australian services into the new millennium and close the gaps between the Australian standards of assessment and treatment, and levels of expertise overseas. She has an undergraduate psychology degree with honours from the University of NSW, a Masters in Clinical Neuropsychology from Macquarie University, and a PhD from Sydney University in paediatric medicine. Her doctoral research examined cognitive profiling of ADHD and learning disorders from a neuropsychological perspective. It looked at how children change developmentally from childhood into adulthood in regards to their cognitive abilities, as well as profiled these disorders from an adult perspective. Following her PhD she received a 2 year award from the Children’s Tumour Foundation (New York) for her postdoctoral research. This postdoctoral research looked at the development of cognitive screening in children, as well as the relationship between neuropsychological tests and real world functional skills.

OUR CLINICIANS

Marika Donkin Clinical Neuropsychologist

Marika Donkin

Clinical Neuropsychologist

Marika Donkin is a clinical neuropsychologist and member of the Clinical Neuropsychology college of the Australian Psychological Society. She holds a first class honours degree in psychology as well as a Masters degree in Clinical Neuropsychology. She has strong research expertise into children who are gifted and special interests in children with ADHD and learning disabilities, as well as in the development of cognitive training programs. She believes strongly in not only identifying neuropsychological difficulties, but also developing programs for treating those difficulties by using tailored, comprehensive, research based cognitive training methodologies. She has been working conducting neuropsychological assessments for both children and adults in private practice since February 2010. She has also completed courses in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, and incorporates those therapies into her treatment programs.

Angela Curtis Psychologist

Angela Curtis

Psychologist

Angela is a fully Registered Psychologist with AHPRA and an Associate member of the Australian Psychological Society. Angela has a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from University of Sydney, Masters of Social Psychology from London School of Economics, Masters of Science in Psychological Counselling from London Metropolitan University and a Masters in Social Change and Development from University of Newcastle. Angela has clinical experience in working with children, adolescents and parents in schools and private practice, as well as working with adults in a range of settings. Angela has a passion for working within a positive psychology framework to help others identify and focus on their strengths and values while teaching effective coping strategies around acceptance and mindfulness. Angela has had extensive training in evidence based approaches including Mindfulness Integrated CBT, (MiCBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT), Schema Therapy, and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT). She has experience facilitating resilience based groups of all ages including Link3d Up for adolescents, Bright Thinking, Yoga for Calm Kids and Connect 3 for children aged 8-11 years old and Retrain Your Brain. Angela has expertise in treating children, adolescents and adults diagnosed with social skills deficits, emotion regulation difficulties, behavioural difficulties and anxiety. She has a particular interest in working with adolescents with depression, poor self-esteem and body image issues. Specific research interests include the effectiveness of mindfulness meditation (MiCBT) and yoga based interventions with children and adolescents, as well as drug and alcohol rehabilitation.

Kyra Thompson

Kyra Thompson

Psychologist

Kyra is a fully Registered Psychologist with AHPRA and an associate member of the Australian Psychological Society. Kyra has a Bachelor of Psychology from University of Newcastle and a Graduate Diploma in Psychological practice from College of Professional Psychology. Kyra has clinical experience in working with children and their families, adolescents, as well as adults. Kyra has worked extensively with people who are on the Autism Spectrum and has expertise in treating patients (both children and adults) diagnosed with anxiety, low mood, autism, social, self-regulation and behavioural difficulties. Kyra predominantly focuses on using a Cognitive Behavioural (CBT), Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT) and Interpersonal (IPT) therapeutic approach. She has extensive experience conducting social skills groups and anxiety groups.

Cassie Antees Neuropsychology Registrar

Cassie Antees

Clinical Neuropsychology Registrar

Cassie Antees completed an undergraduate degree in psychology as well as a Masters degree in Clinical Neuropsychology. She is a registered psychologist with the Psychology Board of Australia and a member of the Australian Psychological Society. For the past five years, Cassie has been working in childhood and adult mental health. Here she has been involved in providing neuropsychological and brain function assessments (EEG brain scanning) with adults presenting with mental health issues. More recently, Cassie has been conducting neuropsychological assessments for both children and adolescents in private practice. She has developed a particular interest in the neuropsychological assessment of children with neurodevelopmental difficulties, which was the focus of her Masters research project. In particular, this research looked at the developmental and cognitive profile of young children following an acquired brain injury. Cassie is involved in both neuropsychological assessment as well as qEEG brain scans at the SCDC.

Candice Michael Psychologist & Cognitive Trainer

Candice Michael

Clinical Neuropsychology Registrar & Cognitive Trainer

Candice Michael has been working with the SCDC since 2010. She has completed her Honours in psychology at UNSW, and in 2017 she completed her Masters in Clinical Neuropsychology at Macquarie University. She has been trained extensively under the guidance of Dr Hyman in neuropsychological remediation and is currently one of the main cognitive trainers running the HighQ cognitive training program. Candice was instrumental in the original design of the cognitive training program and worked with Dr Hyman as a research assistant for many years on this project. She has special interests in neurodevelopmental disorders such as ADHD and ASD. Her masters research project was in neuropsychological profiling of children with early childhood trauma.

Zoe Goldberg

Zoe Goldberg

Psychologist & Clinical Neuropsychology Registrar

Zoë Goldberg is a fully Registered Psychologist with AHPRA and was awarded with a Master of Clinical Neuropsychology degree from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She holds a first-class Honours degree in Psychology from the University of the Witwatersrand. Zoë completed her master’s thesis on sleep and memory and has presented her research at international conferences. Zoë has clinical experience in working with children and adults with a range of neuropsychological impairments. She specialises in the assessment of cognitive processes such as attention, memory, executive functions and language and has developed a keen interest in understanding the unique architecture of the human brain systems responsible for memory and other cognitive processes.

Chris Evans

Chris Evans

Cognitive Trainer

Chris completed his Bachelor of Science majoring in Psychology, with Honours in Immunology (2017) and Psychology (2018). He has conducted research into and is particularly passionate about improving the mental health and functioning of patients via personalised virtual reality experiences. He has worked with the Charles Perkins Centre and the Human Factors Lab at The University of Sydney in collaboration with the RPAH. Currently, Chris also works for The Brain and Mind Centre on research for a range of neuropsychological disorders including dementia and schizophrenia, with an interest in their associated cognitive deficits.

CONSULTANTS

Eyal Pat Consultant Orthoptist

Eyal Pat

Orthoptist & Visual Trainer

Eyal Pat obtained an optometry degree in Israel and practised as an optometrist for 8 years overseas. He developed a passion for treating eye based issues and decided to move to Australia to study his Masters in Orthoptics. He now practices in Australia as an orthoptist, helping train both children and adults in improving their binocular vision. Orthoptics is the science of: "Orth"= straight and "Optics"=eyes. He works to strengthen eye muscles to help teaming between both eyes, which is used in focusing, tracking, fixation and general eye movements. These skills are fundamental to learning and motor skills in children. When the functional system is poor it may also affect higher-level visual functioning and visual perception, and Eyal has numerous programs to also improve these higher levels visual processing skills. He is a member of the Orthoptic Board and Orthoptic Australia.

Ciara Reeves Speech Pathologist

Ciara Reeves

Speech & Language Therapist

Ciara holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Speech Pathology from the University of Sydney. She is qualified in The Spalding Method® and in 2011 joined The Language Tree where she received additional specialist training from Vicki Selwyn-Barnett in the TLT System®. She is also trained in the Lidcombe Program of Early Stuttering Intervention, PROMPT and in Integrated Listening Systems (iLs). Ciara specialises in treating children who have articulation, language, fluency, communication and literacy difficulties. She particularly enjoys working with primary school aged children and training parents. Ciara works in the eastern suburbs area of Sydney at the Sydney Cognitive Development Centre (SCDC) and in Avalon, offering a clinic based service. Ciara has lead the SEAL training in Cambodia using the adapted TLT System® since 2014.

NEUROFEEDBACK & CASE MANAGEMENT TEAM

Madeleine De Biasi Case Manager

Madeleine De Biasi

Case Manager & Neurofeedback Technician

Madeleine completed her Bachelor of Art with a major in Psychology in 2014. She has worked since then as a care worker for Wesley Mission Community Services, before joining our team in 2018. She has worked with autistic children and children with genetic disorders for many years, and has a passion for children with neurodevelopmental disorders. She also has worked with patients neurodegenerative disorders, and has strong interests in performance enhancement in adult populations.

Ashleigh Mule Neurofeedback Practitioner

Ashleigh Mule

Provisional Psychologist & Neurofeedback Technician

Ashleigh has completed a Bachelor of Psychology (First Class Honours) at the University of Queensland. She has completed her First Aid, R U OK? suicide prevention training, In Safe Hands child protection training and has obtained a Food Foundations Certificate for training in early years nutrition. Ashleigh has volunteered as a mentor for the YMCA, the St Vincent de Paul Society and Anglicare. Her key interests include child and adolescent mental health, trauma and neuropsychological disorders. She was initially trained to be part of the Neurofeedback team and in May 2018 she was employed full-time to also be one of our case manager team.

Jessica Shen Neurofeedback Technician & Provisional Psychologist

Jessica Shen

Neurofeedback Technician & Provisional Psychologist

Jessica has completed a Bachelor of Psychology (First Class Honours) and a Master of Research at Macquarie University in 2017. She is currently undertaking a Master of Clinical Psychology at Macquarie University. Jessica has volunteered at Lifeline and completed a Mental Health First Aid and Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training course. Her interests include affective disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, bereavement and trauma. She has been working as part of the intern program at the SCDC since 2016, and in 2017 joined our neurofeedback team.

Natalie Dahora

Natalie Dehora

Head Neurofeedback Technician

Natalie completed her Bachelor of Psychology at the University of Sydney, with Honours. She has conducted research into memory and lie detection. She has special interests in neurofeedback and neuromodulation as a means of enhancing cognitive ability. She has also worked for the Sydney University Forensic Lab and the Social Cognitive and Individual Differences Lab, in the Department of Psychology.

Caroline Power Neurofeedback Technician & Yoga Teacher

Caroline Power

Neurofeedback Technician & Yoga Teacher

Caroline has completed her Graduate Diploma in Psychological Science. She working towards completing her honours and masters. She has a special interest in working with children. She completed her Yoga for Kids teacher training with Little Flower Yoga in New York and has also completed a three day training for Yoga for Children with Special Needs.

Natalie Mastrogiovanni Neurofeedback Technician

Natalie Mastrogiovanni

Neurofeedback Technician

Natalie is currently completing her honours year at the University of New South Wales as part of her Bachelor of Psychology degree. Her research looks at the impact of stress on nicotine-associated cues and how this might promote addiction. Natalie has also volunteered as a research assistant for various psychology experiments at UNSW including a study looking at self-control and aggression. She hopes to complete a Masters of Clinical Psychology with a focus on anxiety and depression in children/adolescence.

Christina Maher

Christina Maher

Neurofeedback & QEEG Technician

Christina recently completed her Advanced Graduate Diploma in Psychology with Monash University. She has completed the 4-day Neurofeedback Didactic Training under Dr. Moshe Perl and is working towards full registration as a Neurofeedback therapist. Christina is currently completing her PhD in neurophysiology, and aims to start her Masters in Clinical Neuropsychology next year. She has a specific interest in the neurophysiological and neurodevelopmental profile of children following complications at birth. She is involved in both neurofeedback and QEEG brain scans at the SCDC.

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Olivia Coyte

Case Manager

TBA

Merran Cunningham

Merran Cunningham

Administrative Support & Case Manager

Merran is currently completing her Graduate Diploma of Psychology and has completed a Bachelor of Political, Economic, and Social Science at the University of Sydney. She is working towards completing her Honours and Clinical Masters. She has completed her First Aid Mental Health Training and is currently a research assistant at SUPIR Lab at USYD. Merran is particularly interested in Neuropsychology and is training to become a Neurofeedback Technician

GENERAL MANAGER

Andrew Hyman

Andrew Hyman

Andrew Hyman is a chartered accountant with over 20 years expertise in financial planning and business management.

SCDC Christmas Party Intern Team photo 1
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SCDC Christmas Party Intern Team photo 2
SCDC Christmas Party Intern Team photo 4

Publications for Dr Shelley Louise Hyman

  • Hyman S.L., DuPaul, G.J. & Gormley, M.J. (2017) Evidence-Based Assessment and Intervention for ADHD in School Psychology. In, Theilking, M & Terjesen M.D. (Ads) Handbook of Australian School Psychology (pp: 311-330).  Switzerland; Springer.
  • Payne J., Hyman S.L., Shores E.A., & North K.N. (2011) Assessment of executive function and attention in children with neurofibromatosis type 1: relationships between cognitive measures and real-world behavior. Child Neuropsychology,17, 313-29.
  • Hyman, SL., Gill, D., Shores E.A., Steinberg, A., & North, K.N. (2007) Specific Regions of T2-Hyperintensities in Children with NF1 and their relationship to Cognitive Functioning. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry, 78, 1088- 1091.
  • Hyman, S.L., Shores, E.A., Gill, D., & North, K.N. (2006). Learning disabilities in children with neurofibromatosis type 1: subtypes, cognitive profile, and attention- deficit-hyperactivity disorder. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 48, 973- 977.
  • Gill, D., Hyman, SL., Steinberg, A & North, K.N. (2006). Age-related findings on MRI in Neurofibromatosis type 1. Pediatric Radiology; 36: 1048-1056.
  • Hyman, SL., Shores E.A., & North, K.N. (2005). The Nature and Frequency of Cognitive Deficits in Children with Neurofibromatosis Type 1. Neurology, 65, 1037- 1044.
  • Hyman, SL., Shores E.A., Gill, D., Steinberg, A., & North, K.N. (2004). Children with Neurofibromatosis Type 1: Neuropsychological and Neuroradiological Aspects. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 10, 40.
  • Hyman, SL. Neurofibromatosis Type 1: Cognitive Profile, Natural History and Pathogenesis. 2004. PhD Dissertation.
  • Hyman, S.L., Shores E.A., Gill, D., Steinberg, A., & North, K.N. (2003). Natural History of Neuropsychological Ability and T2-Hyperintensities in Patients with Neurofibromatosis Type 1. Neurology, 60, 1139-1145.
  • North, K.N, Hyman, S., & Barton, B. (2002). Cognitive Functioning in Neurofibromatosis Type 1. Journal of Child Neurology, 17:616-623.
  • Young, H., Hyman, S. & North, K. (2002) Neurofibromatosis Type 1: Clinical Manifestations and Exceptions to the rule. Journal of Child Neurology, 17:624-632
  • Hyman, S., North, A., Shores, A., Gill, D., & Steinberg, A. (2002). Natural history of cognitive deficits and brain lesions in neurofibromatosis 1. Journal of International Neuropsychological Society, 8, 499.
  • Hyman, S.L., Shores E.A., Steinberg, A., Gill, D., & North, K.N. (2002). Natural History of Neuropsychological Ability and T2-Hyperintensities in Patients with Neurofibromatosis Type 1. Brain Impairment, 3, 80.
  • Hyman, S.L. An analysis of the mechanisms underlying the phenomenon of memory reactivation. (1997). Honours Thesis.