Susan is an Occupational Therapist currently working in a private paediatric setting. Susan qualified with a BSc. (OT) at UCT in 2008 and went on to do community service in Tembisa Health Care Clinics in 2009. In this setting, Susan was required to work in a team to service several clinics in the area. She worked with patients of all ages and various conditions including Cerebral Palsy, Stroke, Intellectual Disability, Spinal Cord and Brain Injuries, Down’s Syndrome, Autism, Hand Injuries, Learning Difficulties and Developmental Delay. In this environment, she was also required to run workshops on various topics for other members of the Department of Health as well as awareness campaigns for community education.
It was in this community setting that Susan learnt the value and importance of a family approach. It was essential in this environment to educate and empower family members in order to solve problems they face as a result of disability. During her time working for the community, Susan completed her Masters in Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) at the University of Pretoria, qualifying cum laude. ECI focuses not only on the child but also on the role of the family and broader community. The purpose is to aid communitites in developing their own resources in order to enhance sustainability and improve quality of life for all.
Following her three years in Tembisa, Susan worked at a Primary school in Edenvale. In this environment, she was able to develop skills specific to paediatrics. Such skills included working with children between the ages of 4 and 13 in order to develop skills in areas of weakness. The purpose of an OT in a school environment is to help identify where children are having difficulty participating to their full ability and work with the child and family to overcome these barriers. Such barriers may be physical (regarding the body and its strength and tone, balance and coordination), visual perceptual (the way we see and interpret things visually), sensory (the way in which the brain detects and processes information from the eyes, ears, skin, muscles and balance apparatus), or socio-emotional-behavioural. We also work closely with teachers and parents to help enable accommodations and adaptations that may assist the child in every day life.
Between 2013 and 2016 Susan completed training in Sensory Integration in children and babies, which is a specialized field of OT. She now works with children from 3 months to 12 years with multiple different areas of difficulty. Susan has a passion for early intervention and the potential difference moms can make to the lives of their babies with age appropriate play. Babies have an incredible amount of plasticity in their brains which makes this time so essential to intervention. This means that between the ages of 0 to 5 the is a massive amount of growth an change that takes place in the brain. This process, whether the brain has impairments or not, is extremely susceptible to what they are exposed to. Moms therefore have a huge role in the early development of their children.
Susan works at her private practice in Senderwood, Bedfordview.