Our visiting support team
Dr. Margaret Kyrkou
Specialist General Practitioner (Disability)
"I believe that a child's health and wellbeing are the foundations for their development."
Margaret knows about children’s health and wellbeing. She helps families with understanding their child’s medical and health needs, this includes helping families with their child’s eating, sleeping, toileting, behaviour issues; helping the family find the right medical practitioners for their child and knowing what questions to ask them; helping families navigate through the medical system. Dr Margaret Kyrkou chose to work in general practice, but after her eldest daughter developed severe epilepsy she moved away from traditional practice to specialising in working with children with disability, particularly those with autism spectrum disorder. Her own daughter was later diagnosed with autism and intellectual disability, so she has both clinical and family experience, and her focus is on the whole family, not just the child with disability.
In addition to her medical qualifications of MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery), FRACGP (Fellow of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners), and DCCH (Diploma in Community Child Health) she has a Masters and PhD in Disability Studies from Flinders University, and lectures in Disability Studies at Flinders University. She was awarded an OAM (Order of Australia Medal) in 2001 for services to children with disability.
For over 30 years Margaret worked in preschools, schools and Child and Family Health Service clinics assessing children referred for medical or developmental concerns, and talking with their parents and teachers. She was also Manager/Medical Consultant in a program supporting students with disability and health needs in educational settings. For the past 8 years she has also worked at the Centre for Disability Health at Modbury, seeing children and young people with intellectual disability, mostly with autism spectrum disorder and challenging behaviours.
At My Therapy House®, Margaret is involved in the initial Multidisciplinary Team assessment, and later meets with the parent/s/carer/s for another appointment to obtain more detailed medical/health information, and answer any questions about the child’s health or disability. The appointments are generally planned to coincide with the child’s therapy sessions to save a separate trip, and can either occur in the therapy setting or in a separate room, depending on the circumstances.
Some parents arrange further appointments, as they have a number of questions or issues they need to work through, but have no-one else they are able to talk things through with. In consultation with parents/carers she also refers children to Dr Jenny Curran, a psychiatrist with expertise in people with intellectual disability, autism spectrum disorder, anxiety, and emotional or behavioural difficulties. As both a parent and professional, Margaret is able to understand the significant pressures on families both emotionally and financially, including the impact on siblings.
Margaret is able to inform parents of Centrelink and other benefits available, and how to access them, including Carers Allowance/Payment, Disability Parking, Companion Card, plus Mobility Allowance and Disability Support Pension for those over 16 years of age. She is also able to complete the Medical Report components of those.
Margaret Bulk Bills for all services, as she understands the financial pressures on families when one or more members have a disability.