Kids Connect Therapy was established in May 2009 by Dale Proudfoot, Emma Barber and Kirsty Sanders.
Dale, Kirsty and Emma shared a vision to create a truly integrated paediatric therapy clinic based on teamwork and shared knowledge.
As Kids Connect therapy has grown they have been able to build an amazing team of therapists and support staff who all share their passion about helping children and families.
Occupational Therapist &
Bachelor of Applied Science
(Occupational Therapy), 1991
Intermediate DIR® Floortime™ provider
Dale graduated from the University of Sydney in 1991. Dale initially worked within a variety of mental health settings prior to working in paediatric practice. Since 1995, Dale has worked in a wide range of paediatric settings both here and in the United Kingdom, including community health, private practice and early intervention.
Dale has a special interest in working with children and their families utilising the Sensory Integration and DIR®/Floortime™ models and is passionate about providing this within an interdisciplinary framework. Dale has trained to the intermediate level in the DIR®/Floortime™ Model. Dale continues to expand her knowledge through a wide range of ongoing conferences, seminars and mentoring within paediatric occupational therapy.
Dale has three gorgeous children Jamie, Eliza and Robert.
Speech Pathologist &
Bachelor of Speech Pathology, 2004
Intermediate DIR® Floortime™ provider
Emma graduated from the University of Queensland in 2004 and has had extensive experience working in community health settings with pre-school aged children in country Victoria, Early Childhood Intervention settings working with pre-school aged children with autism and developmental delays, as well as in private practice. In 2008, Emma travelled to the US to train in the DIR®/Floortime™ Model of Intervention for children with developmental delays and disabilities. In 2011, Emma again travelled to the US where she completed the DIR® C 1 Certification, DIR®/Floortime™ program. Emma continues to expand her knowledge of DIR®/Floortime™ through ongoing mentoring and attendance at professional development seminars.
Emma is a certified Hanen provider and is a trained provider of the Therapeutic Listening Program. Emma is also trained in the Lindamood Bell Approach to phonological processing and language comprehension. Emma has specialised experience and a passion for working with young children who present with autism, developmental delays, language disorders and social language difficulties.
Emma has a gorgeous two year old daughter, Mary.
Speech Pathologist &
Bachelor of Science (Human Communication Science)
with First Class Honours, 2003
Intermediate DIR® Floortime™ provider
Kirsty graduated with First Class Honours from Curtin University in Western Australia in 2003. Since then, Kirsty has gained experience working with children in a diverse range of clinical settings, including private practice, community health and Early Childhood Intervention. Kirsty also has extensive research experience, having worked on the Looking at Language Study at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research in Western Australia, and the Early Language in Victoria Study (ELVS) at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Victoria.
Kirsty is passionate about helping children with additional needs and their families and has a strong interest in working with children with autism, developmental delays and language disorders. Kirsty is an internationally recognised Intermediate DIR®/Floortime™ provider, having completed the DIR® B Certification in the US in 2011 and the DIR® C1 training in 2013. Kirsty has integrated the DIR®/Floortime™ model into her clinical practice since 2008. Kirsty continues to strengthen her knowledge of DIR®/Floortime™ by participating in regular professional development courses, special interest groups and individual and group-based mentoring.
Kirsty has a three-year old daughter Hannah, and another baby on the way. Kirsty is currently on maternity leave and will return in 2018.
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, 2011
Following a diverse employment history that has taken her to numerous countries, Marissa began studying for her Occupational Therapy Degree at Monash University. Marissa has had a passion for assisting young children and their families and has been involved in the Andrew Fildes Foundation program at the Port Philip Special School for several years.
During her studies, Marissa travelled to the United States and attended the Sensory Processing Disorder Symposium in Seattle, Washington. She also completed training in Snoezelen Multi-Sensory Environments through Sense-zational Environments in New York and has also had training in DIR®/Floortime™, Regulatory Sensory Processing Disorders and Sensory Oral-Motor Treatment. Marissa is keen to add to her experience by undertaking professional development, particularly in Sensory Integration and further DIR®/Floortime™ Therapy.
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy, 1997
Anna graduated with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy from LaTrobe University, Melbourne in 1997. For 15 years, she has enjoyed working with both adults and children in Australia and the United Kingdom. Her career spans a wide range of settings – from hospitals and rehabilitation centres to community health services, special and mainstream schools, the disability sector and early intervention. In 2009 Anna obtained a Graduate Certificate of Health Promotion, being passionate about the concept of ‘Health for All’.
Anna loves working with children and families, and is trained in the Sensory Profile, 1-2-3 Magic and Emotion Coaching, strength based practice, the Alert Program (How Does My Engine Run?), and the Wilbarger Sensory Defensiveness (Brushing Protocol). Anna has completed Stages 1 and 2 of the DIR® Floortime™ training. Anna is particularly interested in working with children with Autism, developmental delays and sensory integration issues.
She has one gorgeous little boy of her own, and finds it hard to contain her enthusiasm for play, music, and learning in everyday activities and routines.
Bachelor of Health Science, 2014
Master of Occupational Therapy Practice, 2014
Laura graduated from La Trobe University with a Master of Occupational Therapy Practice and Bachelor of Health Science. During her studies, Laura assisted children with special needs as a support worker and childcare assistant. This has experience has developed Laura’s in depth knowledge of how children and family systems work within their home, school and community.
Laura believes that successful therapy is achieved through collaborative working partnerships with each child, their family and their therapy team. By supporting the child and their family to develop the confidence and strategies they need to reach their full potential.
Laura is dedicated to remain up to date in clinical and professional practices, by undertaking ongoing professional development. Laura has a strong interest in the areas of sensory modulation, motor skill development and play-based therapy.
Laura is currently completing formal training in the DIR®/Floortime™ Model. Laura is also receiving training in Sensory Integration approaches.
Bachelor of Speech Pathology, 2012
Samantha graduated from La Trobe University with a Bachelor of Speech Pathology in 2012. Samantha has experience working with mainstream primary school children with speech, language and literacy difficulties.
Currently, Samantha is commencing formal training in the DIR/floortime model and receives regular mentoring by the more experienced staff at Kids Connect Therapy.
Samantha is a practising member of Speech Pathology Australia and attends regular professional development courses to extend her knowledge and skills.
Samantha feels privileged to work with children and their families to support them to reach their full potential in a fun play-based environment.
Masters of Speech and Language Pathology and Therapy, 1996
Tamsin graduated from University College London with a Masters degree (distinction) in Speech and Language Pathology and Therapy in 1996. While working in the U.K. Tamsin gained experience working with children in a range of settings, including mainstream and specialist school settings; mainstream kinder settings; pre-school language unit; community health and delivering training to Early Years Education. Since coming to Australia with her family in 2005, Tamsin has worked in private practice and Early Childhood Services.
Tamsin is keen to work with children with additional needs and their families. She believes that children learn best in naturalistic play based settings and aims to coach parents to help their children develop optimal interaction and communication skills.
Tamsin is a provider of the SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding program. Tamsin is also a certified Hanen provider and uses Hanen principles in her therapy. Tamsin is trained in PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and has an interest in using vocal aids to develop communication skills in children with Autism and developmental delays. Tamsin has also commenced training in the DIR®/Floortime™ model.
Bachelor of Applied Science
(Speech Pathology), 2010
Amanda graduated from the University of Sydney in 2010. Amanda has worked in Early Childhood Intervention Services, community health centres, diagnostic assessment clinics and special schools in Melbourne and the United Kingdom.
Amanda is trained in a variety of therapy programs including Hanen Centre Programs (It Takes Two to Talk, More Than Words and Talkability), Picture Exchange Communication System, key word sign and the SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding program. Tamsin has also commenced training in the DIR®/Floortime™ model.
Amanda enjoys building relationships with children and their families to help build children’s communication skills in a fun, naturalistic environment.
Neisha D'Souza Bachelor of Health Science, 2014
Master of Occupational Therapy Practice, 2016
Neisha completed her Bachelor of Health Science and Master of Occupational Therapy Practice at La Trobe University. During her studies she worked in a variety of settings including community, hospital and both mainstream and special schools. This is where she discovered her passion for working with children. In this time Neisha has worked with a range of children, including those with developmental delays and sensory difficulties.
Neisha is keen to stay updated with clinical and professional practices and ensures she does this by utilising the range of resources at Kids Connect Therapy and undertaking regular professional development. She has a strong interest in the areas of play-based therapy, motor planning and sensory processing.
Neisha values family-centred practice and believes that a supportive environment is paramount for best practice as an Occupational Therapist. Neisha is currently completing training in the DIR®/Floortime™ Model. Neisha is also receiving training in Sensory Integration approaches and receives regular mentoring.
Lucy is a passionate and committed Practice Manager who works with the administration team to provide a warm and supportive environment for families.
Lucy is able to assist families and their children by making appointment bookings, providing information on funding options and giving advice around relevant therapy programs. Lucy has worked in administrative roles for many years, both with children and the elderly.
Lucy has a passion for helping families and strives to make each family at Kids Connect Therapy feel welcome and well-supported as soon as they walk through the door. Lucy enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren.
Adriana is a proud and busy mother of 2 boys. She brings firsthand experience to her role as Kids Connect Therapy as a parent of a child with ASD.
Adriana is able to empathise with many of our families and she offers parent-to-parent advice in dealing and coping with a child with ASD. Adriana prides herself on providing excellence in customer service and has extensive experience is administration and accounts.
Adriana has a bubbly, positive attitude and is a motivated and enthusiastic member of the Kids Connect team. Her outside interests include sport, music, theatre and of course shopping!
Hannah is the smiling face of Saturday at Kids Connect Therapy.
Hannah works on the front desk to ensure that families and children within our group programs are welcomed and well-supported.
Hannah has a nursing degree and is currently studying to be a midwife.