At Kid Sense we know that you are trusting us with your most precious resource – your child. This is not a responsibility that we take lightly. To honour this trust, we believe in making sure our team is not just suitably qualified but is well trained, resourced and highly organised. This allows our clinicians to deliver the best clinical service in the most efficient and effective manner possible.
All clinical staff members are full-time, registered with their professional bodies and have Police Clearance and First Aid Certificates.
At Kid Sense, we believe that:
- Children need access to therapists that are not just suitably qualified but also well trained.
- Parents need flexibility of attendance so they need therapists that work a wide time span.
For these reasons, we believe it is important to have therapists working full time who are not only readily available for appointments but who also continue to add to their already deep experience by constantly treating only children.
Founder and Managing Director – Clinical Services
As a mother of 2 with more than 20 years clinical experience as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist, Joanna worked in the United States for 4 years before returning to Australia to establish Kid Sense Child Development in 1998. Joanna founded Kid Sense with a simple vision: to help children to ‘be the best they can be’. Experience in medical, educational (child care, preschool and school) and private practice settings have served Joanna well in managing a clinical team while maintaining a full-time clinical caseload. Her particular interest is in exploring the blurred boundaries between where ‘therapy’ meets ‘education’ for children of all ages. It is Joanna’s greatest passion to see that children in (developmental) need receive the intervention they require to unlock their most positive future. Joanna served on the Occupational Therapy Registration Board for almost 2 years and is currently serving on the SPELD (Specific Learning Difficulties Association of SA) Council.
Clinical Director – Occupational Therapy
Renée joined the Kid Sense team in 2007 after completing a Masters of Occupational Therapy, which was driven by her interest in working with children and helping people achieve. Her keen interest in physical activity and health promotion in children has seen her complete a Bachelor of Applied Science Human Movement, and has driven her wide experience in teaching children physical skills including swimming, karate, tennis, soccer, surfing and mountain-bike riding. Renée has experience in working with a vast array of children and has a keen interest in the younger age group experiencing sensory processing difficulties and those with gross motor challenges.
Sylvia completed her Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) degree from the University of South Australia where she developed her interest in paediatrics.
Through these university experiences, together with her experience teaching dance to children aged 3-14 for 9 years, Sylvia has gained valuable knowledge and skills when working with children and their families. She has also enthusiastically undertaken additional professional development and training, and has worked with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Down’s Syndrome, Sensory Processing issues, genetic disorders and other developmental delays.
Sylvia has a passion for working with children, in particular providing early intervention for children with developmental difficulties to support their learning and development. She takes an evidence based, best practice research approach to her practice, together with understanding and responding to the needs of the child and their family. As a vibrant and friendly Occupational Therapist, Sylvia relates easily to children and uses positive relationships with their families to help develop children’s therapy at home and in their educational setting.
Ellen completed a Bachelor of Applied Sciences (Occupational Therapy) through the University of South Australia, and is an accredited therapist of Occupational Therapy Australia. Her passion for working with children stemmed from her five years experience as a volunteer at Camp Quality, and her experience as a swimming instructor and coach. Ellen values evidence based practice, and is currently pursuing further study in paediatric Occupational Therapy through La Trobe University to ensure her practice remains current.
Ellen takes a collaborative approach to treatment, and values working with caregivers and families to address their therapeutic goals. Ellen believes in the power of play to enable children to reach their full potential and aims to make her treatments fun and engaging. She has a special interest in working with children on their Sensory Processing and fine motor skills to help them be as successful as possible meeting the demands that life and kindy/school throw at them.
Tayla is a graduate of Bachelor of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of South Australia. In addition to her paediatric experience she has enjoyed sports coaching children. Tayla values lifelong learning and has recently completed additional professional development training on Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Tayla’s approach to therapy is to work collaboratively with the child, family, caregivers and teachers to help transfer skills across real life environments. Tayla is passionate about helping improve everyday life skills to then make family if easer. Tayla is a very vibrant and friendly person who brings fun, enthusiasm and sporting interest to her role.
Clinical Director – Speech Therapy
Rachel joined Kid Sense as the first member in the Speech Therapy team. She spent a number of years in the UK working in a variety of special schools, mainstream schools with special learning units for children with specific language impairment, and schools specifically established for children on the Autism Spectrum. She then returned to Australia where she worked in a private paediatric practice for several years before joining the Kid Sense team. She has experience in helping children with articulation difficulties, language delays and disorders, auditory processing disorder, literacy difficulties, paediatric voice and alternative forms of communication, including Key Word Signing and the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), in both of which she has been trained. Rachel has also worked with children with a variety of disabilities, such as Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome and Rhetts Syndrome. With over 15 years paediatric experience, Rachel is most interested in helping children (and their parents) discover their true potential in the art of communication.
After graduating from her Degree in Speech Therapy Eilis worked in a hospital setting before joining the Education Department in the Northern Adelaide Region. She then moved to Port Augusta to work in a country setting where she had the chance to work with Anangu children on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Lands (APY); visit country towns to work with children in preschools and schools; and build her skills and experience working with children with complex communication needs in a special school and special classroom settings. Through her time with the Department for Education and Child Development Eilis gained skills and training in the use of alternative forms of communication such as PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System), Proloquo2go and basic Auslan (Australian Sign Language). Eilis has had experience working with children with articulation difficulties, receptive and expressive language delay/disorder, phonological awareness and literacy difficulties, Autism, and complex communication needs.
Eilis is passionate about working with all children with communication difficulties and enjoys the challenges involved with building their abilities to communicate successfully and confidently.
Phoebe graduated from James Cook University with a Bachelor of Speech Therapy and worked in a private practice on the Northern NSW coast before joining Kid Sense. Phoebe has experience working with a varied caseload of children with Autism, developmental delays, Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, hearing loss, dysfluency, sensory processing disorders, specific speech/language/ literacy difficulties and a range of other disabilities and disorders. Phoebe has been trained in the Hanen – More Than Words and Secret Agent Society Social Skills programs and has attended a variety of Professor Tony Attwood’s workshops regarding children and adolescents with Autism.
Phoebe is a warm and enthusiastic Speech Therapist who loves making therapy fun and therapeutically playing with her clients of all ages. Although she enjoys the challenge of all areas of paediatric Speech Therapy, Phoebe is particularly passionate about early intervention, special needs and children on the Autism Spectrum and their unique communication and social/behavioural disorders. Phoebe loves working as part of team and enjoys working closely with families to provide a holistic model of care for her clients and their families.
Lauren brings 10 years’ experience as a Speech Therapist. Lauren has been working as Speech Therapist in the Adelaide community since 2014 following her relocation from the USA, where she obtained her Bachelors degree from Michigan State University followed by her Masters degree at The University of Vermont. Post University, Lauren completed a clinical fellowship in Seattle, Washington at a multidisciplinary practice specialising in the treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Here in Adelaide, Lauren has worked as a private paediatric Speech Therapist including working within schools, allowing for a broad range of experience across a variety of ages and diagnoses. She is passionate about working with children and their families in order to create a brighter future.
Jude has over twenty years’ experience managing diverse medical, dental and allied health practices. She has successfully completed a Diploma of Practice Managing and has a passion for providing every client with the best professional and clinical care. As a mum herself, Jude knows how precious children are. Her optimistic and ‘can do’ spirit ensures that all clients’ experiences with Kid Sense are memorable and achieve a positive outcome.
Nicholle’s cheerful demeanour greets clients at the front of house. With almost 20 years of customer service and administration roles (including 5 years as the regional coordinator for a large food retail company and 3 years as a medical administrator in a busy specialist clinic) Nicholle brings a wealth of experience to the Kid Sense practice. Being the mother of a young child herself, Nicholle understands some of the difficulties parents face with developmental concerns, time restraints and achieving ‘life balance’. She professionally and competently assists in making scheduling appointments as smooth as possible for all clients with the aim of making their busy lives just a little bit easier.