Dr Ellen Gentle has worked with children and young people with varied neurocognitive vulnerabilities for over 12 years. She has particular interests in epilepsy and brain injury, but has previously worked intensively within childhood oncology and Autism spectrum populations, with whom she still enjoys working.
Ellen is also a music neuropsychologist and is a specialist in understanding the important role that music has in the developing brain.
Clinically, Ellen supports the child/young person and their family/school/therapists to understand their learning style and current needs via targeted neuropsychological assessment and feedback (verbal and written report-based). Ellen is passionate about making sure that knowledge transfer from the assessment happens in a way that families, schools, therapists and funding bodies can understand and use to help achieve the child/young person’s potential. Ellen only utilises diagnoses/labels where it is clinically indicated and functionally useful to achieve maximal support, and uses a targeted, individualised child-centred approach to recommendations.
BACKGROUND AND EXPERIENCE
Ellen continues to work in the public health sector as part of the Victorian Paediatric Rehabilitation Service (VPRS), Eastern Health, and supports the Ronald MacDonald Learning Program in Victoria with assessments for their vulnerable oncology patients.
Ellen has previously held appointments within Melbourne at the Royal Children’s Hospital, the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Western Health (previously known as the Children’s Allied Health Service, now part of the Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s Hospital). She has also worked interstate and internationally, having spent time in the United Kingdom working as both a Clinical Psychologist and Neuropsychologist with children and young adults, and in Perth, WA with psychological trauma, neurological and indigenous populations.
Prior to her psychology career, she was an early childhood development worker in the United Kingdom, and has worked in various developmental settings for over 20 years. She has a wide range of knowledge and expertise concerning disorders, diseases and difficulties of childhood/adolescence to draw on in her work.
Ellen holds a Doctorate in Clinical Neuropsychology from The University of Melbourne and a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Psychology from the University of Edinburgh. Her doctoral thesis examined brain reorganisation of singing in adulthood after early developmental damage using functional MRI.
She is registered and endorsed as a Clinical Neuropsychologist with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), and is also an approved supervisor. She enjoys teaching and mentoring students, but also provides professional development via teaching webinars to allied health and teachers in the field of music neuropsychology.
Outside of her assessment work, Ellen is passionate about using research and education to raise awareness of music as a tool to help children and young people recover from brain injury, learn to regulate themselves, and to promote communication. She has most recently published in the field of music neuropsychology and rehabilitation, but previously within Autism Spectrum Disorder and childhood oncology fields. She continues to be involved in cross-disciplinary research and presenting at National and International conferences.
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Paediatric Clinical Neuropsychologist Dr Ellen Gentle is a member of the Big Thinkers team. They are currently NOT accepting new patient referrals.