Sarah Zaknich (nee Timmel)
Sarah has been working as a speech pathologist since 2009 and has been working at Sensory Connections since 2013. She has experience in literacy and phonological awareness, classroom based management and funding applications, bilingualism, language and speech sound disorders, and her main passion - autism spectrum disorders. She is qualified to complete diagnostic assessments for Autism Spectrum Disorder as part of the diagnostic team.
Sarah is driven to apply her skills in speech pathology within a developmental relationship-based model in her work with families and children. She has a keen interest is supporting children in peer interactions. Throughout her career Sarah has closely worked with OT's and is experienced in supporting children with sensory and emotional regulation and attentional challenges.
Sarah has passed through the interdisciplinary training levels with Profectum and has been specially selected to undertake the trainers certificate program. She brings many different tools in her therapy sessions from her participation in many trainings in addition to Floortime included Hanen, Social Thinking, Prompt, Infant Mental Health, and SOS Mealtimes.
Originally from Perth, Naomi has lived in both Australia and Israel and obtained her bachelor degree in Speech Pathology in Israel in 2012. Recently she completed her Masters via the school of Speech Pathology at Curtin University specializing in a topic close to her heart on a personal and professional level: bilingual language development and impairment. Naomi enjoys complimenting her clinical work with teaching and involvement in research.
Naomi is experienced in providing family centred, relationship-based support for children with a range of developmental delays and disabilities including: autism, global developmental delays, language delays and impairments, speech-sound disorders and dysfluency (stuttering). Prior to working at Sensory Connections Naomi worked at a child development centre and specialized day-care centre for children with autism. Throughout her career Naomi has been part of multidisciplinary teams and has experience liaising with schools and other external professionals.
Working within a developmental model, Naomi has a great interest in using play and daily routines to strengthen language, communication and social skills. Naomi’s greatest passion is supporting bilingual children and families who are experiencing developmental challenges. She views bilingualism as a valuable cultural, linguistic and cognitive asset that can be used to enhance communication skills.
Libby is an experienced speech pathologist and primary school teacher. In the past 10 years as a speech pathologist she has worked with children and their families at a Language Development Centre, and with children with a range of disabilities. She spent her early teaching days working up north in Western Australia and in country NSW. Libby has helped families and educators support children to develop early language and communication skills, give targeted literacy support, promote rewarding social interactions, provide voice therapy and implement safe swallowing strategies. She has worked with children using augmentative and alternative communication devices and helped integrate their use into home routines and literacy programs. She is a trained Hanen and PROMPT therapist. and has undertaken training in the DIR/Floortime approach.
Libby has a passion for helping children to develop literacy through rich oral language experiences. She works closely with parents and her past relationship with schools gives her a special interest in liaising and supporting children in the classroom.
Laura graduated from Curtin University in 2009 and has developed a passion for working with children with developmental delays and disabilities, with a special interest in those on the Autism Spectrum. She is particularly interested in strengthening early communication and social skills as the foundation for strong language development, thinking and learning. Working with families from a developmental and relationship based approach to support their child’s development is a strong interest of Laura’s and she especially enjoys building these skills through play and functional routines.
Her skills cover all areas of speech, language and communication and she has much experience supporting children with challenges in social interaction, attention, vision, hearing and movement. Laura has worked with children in a range of different settings and communities including in rural and remote regions.
Laura is a certified provider of the Hanen ‘It Takes Two to Talk’ program and is trained in DIR/Floortime. Laura has also undertaken a range of trainings related to Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) such as Key Word Sign, picture-based communication and electronic devices. She also has experience advocating for people with disability to enhance access and inclusion in the community.