Liani Austin and Anneri Oosthuizen graduated together in 2005. They are both passionate occupational therapists and Ayres Sensory Integration® (ASI) qualified. They are also qualified in DIR® Floortime which is a treatment approach that compliments ASI and is especially helpful for the “hard-to-manage” child, including developmental-, language- and social delays. Liani is also trained in the Tomatis® Method which is an electronic auditory intervention used within the scope of OT to target insufficient processing and concentration. They value working closely within a multi-disciplinary team at The Therapy House and connecting with educators to get a glimpse of a child’s day at school.
Occupational therapy (OT) is a health care profession and parents can benefit from knowing that OTs form part of the allied medical profession. They use a knowledge base of neurology, anatomy, physiology, psychosocial development, activity task analysis and therapeutic techniques. OTs are qualified to treat children holistically, addressing their cognitive, emotional, and physical needs through activity-based treatment. In a paediatric setting, children are commonly referred to OT for problems with concentration, developmental delays including low muscle tone, gross- and fine motor problems, as well as academic difficulties and sensory integration difficulties which may also affect behaviour.
Sensory integration is the organization of sensations for use (Dr Jean Ayres). The brain must organize and make sense of all these sensations, while keeping calm and responding in a “just right” manner. If not, development, learning and behaviour can be affected to various degrees. To determine how a child’s brain is processing sensory input, OTs will make use of clinical observations, parent report and a variety of standardized tests.
OT must be fun! Activities are selected that are of interest and have meaning for children, and of course meet specific therapeutic goals. It is play-based, and child directed. OTs allow children to be as happy as they can be, by means of them achieving their full potential!
Lisa Ras qualified as a Speech-Language Therapist in 2013 at the University of Pretoria. She has been passionate about the pediatric population’s speech and language development since a young age.
“I strongly believe that the basis of success is based on enthusiasm, a passion for what one does, recognising the opportunities and seizing them. I build my therapeutic relationships on trust, respect and integrity, as I believe that these form the foundation needed for successful intervention. I use them to maximize the benefit for the individual/family during intervention. I believe in choices and strive to provide my clients with choices during intervention and assessment.
I strive to provide services, with the main goal being enhancement of the quality of life of the individual in need of these services. I strive towards building relationships between the therapist and the client through professional communication and therapeutic skills.”
Communication is one of the building blocks upon which we construct our other life skills. When our communication is impaired, it creates challenges to reach our full potential, even in class. Areas that are addressed by the Speech-Language therapist include language skills, auditory processing, phonological awareness, stuttering and articulation (sound production) difficulties.
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Anna Rodrigues is a registered Social Worker specializing in Play Therapy since 1994. She obtained her Masters Degree at the University of Pretoria in 1999 where she wrote her research on Sibling Bereavement.
Anna renders services in 2 areas: Play therapy and counselling – children ages (2.5 – 18) and Parent Coaching.
Anna’s work experience include: employed as a residential Social Worker at a children’s home at the Child Welfare; implementing stimulation programmers for parents with children ages between 3 months to 5 years; lecturing courses on Play Therapy at tertiary institutions and supervising final year social work students.
Anna is trained to help children who present with emotional, behavioral, and social difficulties. Through Play Therapy Anna helps children: cope with their fears, their anger, their anxiety, and sadness; develop problem solving and coping skills; express their thoughts and feelings in a constructive way – children are helped to regulate their emotions; learn and explore social skills; learn how to pay attention and focus on what to do; build self esteem and know how to trust and respect themselves. These difficulties may arise from different circumstances which include: parents are separated or getting divorced; the children are bullied or are the bullies; children feel school work is difficult and friends are mean; trauma at home as in family conflict, the death of a family member, a break- in or moving house.
Anna has a special interest in helping parents connect with their children. The nature of this relationship between the parent and child allows for honest and open communication. It boosts the child’s self-confidence, helps the child feel safe with the parent where he feels heard, seen, understood and supported. Parents are helped to be the approachable parent.
Anna believes PLAY is key to this relationship.