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NEW: AQUA at 6

What is AQUA at 6?

The children in in AQUA study will be turning six during 2018 and 2019. We have received funding to follow their development as they start their long journey through school. We are calling this the AQUA Early School Years Follow-up or AQUA at 6 for short.

We know that many aspects of the mother's pregnancy, the child's early health and their family environment influence a child's learning and behaviour, especially in the early years. We did not find any developmental problems at age 2 years related to alcohol use in pregnancy in the many children we assessed. However, early development is not always a good predictor of later development. It is critical that we assess this unique group of children again now they have started school.

This is a time when children develop complex social, academic and physical abilities. For example, they learn to fit in with their peers and a classroom routine, and literacy and numeracy skills mature.

The purpose of AQUA at 6 is to gather detailed information on 6-7 year old children about how they are coping with these new demands on their development. We will again be looking at whether occasional, low or moderate alcohol consumption in pregnancy is associated with any problems in the health and development of young children. For this, the children will de doing assessments with a psychologist, who looks at the child's thinking, reactions, learning, early academic achievement, communication and body movement.

We are also interested in the facial development of the children and will be taking 3D photographs and we have funds to take MRI scans of a subset of children to investigate possible brain characteristics.

Information for participants:

Taking part in AQUA at 6 involves attending the Royal Children’s Hospital for an assessment with a psychologist, looking at your child’s thinking, reactions, learning, early academic achievement, communication and body movement. The assessment takes between 3 and 4 hours and is done by a psychologist or psychologist-in-training under close supervision. The tasks to be completed are designed to keep your child engaged and many are are done on an iPad. Your child will get plenty of breaks, usually for morning tea and lunch. Appointments are usually start around 9-10am and are finished before 3pm. We will ask you to make a booking for a day and time that suits you. We will give you a $10 snack voucher, which can be used at a café in the hospital. We will also give you a $30 Coles Myer gift voucher and a Hospital car parking voucher to reimburse some of your costs incurred on the day.

While your child is doing the assessment, we will give you an online questionnaire to complete. The questionnaire will take about 545 minutes to complete and ask about you and your family and your child’s health and development.

We are also able to visit you at home or at a place closer to your home, such as a library, if you can’t attend the hospital.

Click here for some information on why are we doing the scan and what is involved.

Below is a video of a child having a MRI scan at the Royal Children's Hospital to show you what's involved.

Click here for the 'Okee in Medical Imaging' training  app. We hope that through the games and information in this app, you and your child will feel more comfortable with everything that will happen at your MRI appointment 

ClickPDF iconhere to see a list of movies your child can choose to watch while having the scan.

Prof Peter AndersonPrincipal InvestigatorMurdoch Children's Research Institute
Prof Jane HallidayChief InvestgatorMurdoch Children's Research Institute
Prof Elizabeth ElliottChief InvestgatorChildren's Hospital Westmead
Prof Tony PeningtonChief InvestgatorRoyal Children's Hospital
A/Prof Deanne ThompsonChief InvestgatorMurdoch Children's Research Institute
Evi MuggliChief Investgator & Project ManagerMurdoch Children's Research Institute
A/Prof Alicia SpittleChief InvestgatorMurdoch Children's Research Institute
Prof Della ForsterChief InvestgatorLaTrobe University
Dr Sharon LewisChief InvestgatorMurdoch Children's Research Institute
Stephen HearpsChief InvestgatorMurdoch Children's Research Institute
Sophie GibsonProject OfficerMurdoch Children's Research Institute
Ngoc NguyenPsychologistMurdoch Children's Research Institute
Siobhan JamesPsychologistMurdoch Children's Research Institute
Whitney RosePsychologistMurdoch Children's Research Institute
Philippa PymanPhD studentMonash University