Like many good stories, mine begins with what at first appears to be sheer luck as I landed on the ‘Occupational Therapy’ page in my year 11 careers guide. Knowing little about what an OT actually did, I was sold on simply knowing I could work with children in a one-on-one setting compared to a traditional teaching role. Shout out to all the teachers and support officers out there and the incredible work you all do!
Upon reflection, I now I realise the eloquence of Steve Jobs quote “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.”
Some of the dots I can now connect stem from my childhood memories as an only child playing mud kitchens, climbing trees, and teaching teddies in front of the chalk board. I loved to play. Other dots can be linked to high school in my Autism project and my inquisitiveness in psychology. Flowing through to university my paediatric placements were where I felt I belonged. It was on kindy placement that I met a boy named Fox who at the time would pretend to be a dog; crawling, barking, and putting his paw on me. It was as if he was saying ‘I yearn for connection but how do I connect in this world?’ Fox endured many unsuccessful foster placements until the day he joined my family as my brother.
Fox taught me more than a textbook ever could. He changed my perspective from being the therapist looking in, to the sister looking out.
I believe every workplace contributes to your essence as a therapist. I started my career at a non-for-profit organisation where I learned the importance of multi-disciplinary client care. Private practice taught me how child led play can make incredible changes in a child’s functioning. This led to Sensory Integration Certification in California where I began to understand the neuroscience of what I was seeing in my clients. I put this into practice in London with the most amazing culturally diverse community. Finally, I was ready to set sail on my own journey and I returned to Adelaide to launch Motivate Kids in 2017.
I am now privileged to be able to work alongside a passionate, dedicated and connected team of therapists and office staff who unite with the one vision ‘to support children to live their best lives’.
There are many dots ahead of the Motivate Kids team and families. The most exciting part is which dot we take next together!