Our founders story
My occupational therapy journey started when I was flicking through the careers book in high school, trying to find a meaningful career that would bring together what I was good at, what inspired me and what the world needed. I knew I am inspired by children and the world needed supportive early intervention programs to help them understand themselves and how to adapt to their world. I considered teaching and realised I prefer one on one or small groups to work with children to develop the strengths of each child more effectively. I decided OT inspired me.
In my paediatric placements – I quickly related to children and I loved them how encouragement and playful, fun activities helped them to develop. I did not feel this sense of fulfilment with my adult placements. It was clear that my passion was with children!
In my fourth year of university I met an incredible boy, Fox, who changed my perspective and my families’ life forever. Fox who has additional needs had been through multiple ‘failed’ foster placements. My parents had always wanted to have more children yet were unfortunately not able to and they too were touched by Fox’s authenticity and readiness to be loved and nurtured and my parents chose to become his foster parents and at long last I had a sibling. This little man taught me so much more than I could ever have learnt from a textbook and I soon realised and gained the perspective that I was no longer the therapist looking in at the client but the sister of a child with additional needs looking out at what was needed for my brother. What our family has experienced has opened my eyes to the need for better person focused outcomes and better early intervention therapy support. Today I am impressed with Fox’s insights and his enthusiastically happy disposition. Like many children, he recognised something in myself that I did not see. He recognised my special need to believe in myself as a person and a therapist.
My first step out of university and into the working world was through the doors of Novita Children’s Services. I jumped into the deep end and loved every minute of it. I had incredibly inspiring clients, parents, co-workers and supervisors yet the time to move on came when I got my first whiff of ‘sensory processing’. This led me to my role at Occupational Therapy for Children where I was buying more textbooks than I could read, receiving top class supervision, creating my own programs and seeing incredible changes in the kids I was working with. I knew what to do, I applied it and these children were making great gains. Yet the missing piece was understanding how that change was occurring within the brain from a neuroscience lens.
After an exciting decision to scratch my travel itch, my partner and I packed our bags and headed to South America. For adventure yes but then I had also been accepted as one of eight individuals to complete the Sensory Integration Training through the University of Southern California. This is the crème de la crème of trainings. What does that mean? It means I could learn the ‘how’ Sensory Integration Therapy makes such tremendous changes. I was in true alignment with my passion and purpose.
I then continued by thirst for travel to apply my learning of Sensory integration and landed in London where I worked within a Private Sensory Integration Practice in the middle of Marylebone (that was fancy!). When our visas were up, we moved back home to Adelaide and I continued to build on my experience and expertise helping the many families that struggle to cope with the life that sensory issues create at Adelaide Paediatrics.
However, the burning desire to create something that could truly change the lives of children and families became too strong to ignore this year and try as I might, Motivate Kids seemed to almost birth itself.
Motivate Kids is not just an Occupational Therapy Private Practice. It is a place where we build on strengths and close the gaps in development for children who experience challenges of all kinds. It is a melting pot of international experience, backed by research and underpinned by personal growth. Providing assessments, therapy plans, and therapy is like our bread and butter, it is the foundation to the clinic, but its just the beginning. My vision for our children, their parents (biological or foster), and the therapists who work alongside me is to create a community of therapy support as we strive to help children to be the best they can be. I have a grand vision and its exciting watching it unfold with the remarkable team of Motivate Kids.