Bachelor of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy 1983
Graduate Certificate in Community Counselling, 1993
DIR® Certificate 2006
DIR® Institute Facilitator
ICDL International Faculty member
Kathy has a wide range of experience over a 25 year period. She has lived, worked, and traveled abroad extensively, spending 4 years in the USA where she trained with the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning Disorders, the DIR® training organisation, gaining experience and mentorship from leaders in the field of developmental disabilities such as Dr Serena Wieder, PhD. Co founder of the DIR® approach with Dr Stanley Greenspan. Kathy is the founder and owner of Sensory Connections and a director of the Learning Tree Therapy Centre.
Kathy has a passion for assisting families of children with developmental disabilities to maximize their childs potential development using a relationship and play based developmental approach. Kathy received her DIR® certificate in 2006 and is on the International Faculty of ICDL (DIR® Training body in the USA).(www.icdl.com)
Kathy is involved in tutoring/supervision of other professional staff undertaking DIR® Certificate training both within Australia and also in the Asian region. She is experienced in running both parent and professional training group programs at an introductory and extended introductory level throughout Australia and internationally. Particular areas of interest include working with children with complex sensory processing dysfunction, parent coaching, and using small group therapy to enhance peer play development. Kathy lives with her husband Michael who is co director of Sensory Connections, and her two teenage sons as well and beloved family dogs Lily and Rosie. Kathy really loves to spend time with her head in a good book, and she is a keen traveller loving to visit both favourite as well as new places.
Kathys Facebook Page:(www.facebook.com/kwalmlseyscots)
Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy 2002
Master of Occupational Therapy 2007
Sharon is a physiotherapist, having graduated from Curtin University in 2002. She has also completed her Masters in Occupational Therapy in December 2007, and as such has two qualifications and is registered to practice as both an Occupational Therapist and as a Physiotherapist.
Sharon has worked in a variety of environments with children with developmental disabilities, including school and community based settings. She recently spent two years working as a volunteer in a Childrens Home in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where her role included supporting local staff in their care-giving duties, as well as direct work with children who had or were at risk of developing a disability. Sharon is really passionate about working with families of children who are experiencing developmental challenges. She began her work with the developmental relationship-based model when she was in Bosnia and has expanded on that experience in her work with families in their homes in Perth, having joined the Sensory Connections team in 2007.
Sharon has a broad range of skills from the combined areas of occupational therapy and physiotherapy, which she applies within a developmental relationship-based model in her work with families and children in both a home and clinical setting. She has trained in DIR® / Floortime™ and receives weekly supervision and tutoring both individually as well as in a group setting. Sharon has assisted for two consecutive years with a Floortime™ based intensive group program and has had extensive experience in facilitating Floortime™ Peer therapy groups. She is trained in Therapeutic Listening and is also an Interactive Metronome Trainer.
Outside of work Sharon enjoys the company of her partner, friends and family. She likes to seek out new experience, her most recent being a tandem skydive from 14,000 feet, a very intense sensory experience! She also enjoys traveling and learning about the varied and diverse ways of life that exist within our world.
Joanna van Leeuwen
Bachelor of Applied Sport Science, and Occupational Therapy 2009
Level 1 Gymnastics Coach 2004
Joanna completed her degree in Occupational Therapy at Curtin University in 2009, after completion of first year Sports Science. During her 5 years at university Jo fulfilled many part-time employment opportunities to gain experience in her areas of interest. Jo has gained experience in working with children in her 5 years as a gymnastics coach, and has her Level 1 coaching accreditation. Jo also gained diverse experience with various types of disability from employment at Silver Chain Nursing Association and Rocky Bay as a Disability Support Worker. Jo completed numerous professional placements in her final year of university, including being selected in a competitive process to complete a placement at Princess Margaret Hospital. Jo also participated in an overseas placement at a Tuberculosis hospital for children and school for children with complex disabilities in South Africa, where she gained a range of experience in working with children with developmental delay and working cross-culturally.
Over the past 3.5 years Jo has discovered a keen interest in the DIR®/Floortime™ Model and relationship-based approach to working with children. Jo assisted with the SuperGym program run by Sensory Connections in early 2008, and began working with families of Sensory Connections as a Floortime Support Worker from this point, including assisting with the Summer Intensives Program in January 2009. Jo officially joined the Sensory Connections team in early 2009. Jo has completed Introductory Level DIR Training and is receiving weekly tutoring with Faculty of ICDL. Jo came on board with Sensory Connections early 2010 as an Occupational Therapist, receiving weekly supervision, and hopes to travel to the US to complete further training through ICDL. Jo has worked in various part time government locum positions as an OT throughout her time with Sensory Connections, including an acute hospital and in Child and Adolescent Mental Health services. Jo is currently working as a Senior OT for the Complex Attention and Hyperactivity Disorders Service (CAHDS) as part of a multidisciplinary team. Jo has many hobbies and interests including; travelling overseas, riding her 2 horses (Bill & Fly), competing in Latin American Ballroom Dancing, and spending time with family, friends and her partner.
Bachelor of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy 1983
DIR® Level B 2005
Yvonne has over 25 years of experience as an Occupational therapist working in a wider range of clinical areas including neurology, home visiting, aged care and in her primary area of interest of paediatrics. She is an Interactive metronome trainer and Therapeutic Listening, and Listening program provider, and has experience working within the school system with school age children with developmental disabilities.
Yvonne attended the ICDL summer institute in the U.S.A. in 2005 and has 5 years experience with incorporating her occupational therapy expertise into a developmentally relationship based model having joined the Sensory Connections team during 2004. She receives regular mentorship from the I.C.D.L. faculty as well as in house mentorship, and is a co facilitator with our parent training programs. Yvonne’s particular passion is working with children with developmental and learning disabilities, and using semi structured therapy techniques in addition to floor time to enhance development. Yvonne lives with her husband Guy and has three children who are now nearly grown up! In her spare time Yvonne is a keen gardener and also loves to travel with her family and spend time with her large extended family.