AT A GLANCE
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (Honours)
Area of Focus
Specific learning difficulties, ADHD, executive function difficulties, high functioning ASD, working memory difficulties, sensory processing
Qualified Cogmed coach, Rhythmic Entrainment Intervention Provider, Neurolinguistic Programming Provider, Therapeutic Listening
Individual sessions, telehealth, parent consultations, seminars, webinar, Cogmed coaching
Julia graduated from the University of Queensland in 1982 and received her Honours degree the following year. She has been working with children ever since. Julia has been part of the Kids Matters Team since 2009 and works at our Aspley clinic.
Julia has worked as a home visiting therapist, in schools, hospitals and community settings, with children from birth to adolescence with a diverse range of disabilities, medical, developmental and learning problems.
Julia has a special interest in working with childhood learning difficulties. From niggling doubts concerning classroom performance, to sensory processing and executive function issues, ADHD and ASD, Julia works closely with families to help children who are uncomfortable in their own skins to overcome struggles with accomplishing daily tasks and establishing fulfilling relationships.
With a long career has come many professional development opportunities. Over her career Julia has been trained in:
- listening therapies (Rhythmic Entrainment Intervention; Therapeutic Listening and The Listening Program)
- Cognitive behavioural approaches – ACT (Acceptance & Commitment Therapy) and the Fundamentals of CBT
- Developmental Intervention approaches such as DIR Floortime (Introductory); Infant & Preschool Mental Health; neurodevelopmental intervention
- Sensory Integration & Beyond: Power Tools for Treating Children, Professional Development Programs, Massachusetts USA
- Clinical Assessment and Practical Intervention for Praxis: From Ideation to Execution by Dr. Teresa A. May-Benson
- Visual Perception: Understanding Visual Perceptual Skills in Children, with Dr Chris Chapparo
Currently, Julia’s focus for professional development has been in the areas of Social Thinking and Executive Function intervention. In these areas she has completed the following trainings:
- Evidence – Based Strategies to Improve Attention, Memory & Self-Regulation by George McCloskey PESI Inc., November 2022
- Executive Function in the Classroom: 30 Cognitive-Motor Activities to Improve Attention, Memory & Self-Regulation by Dr Lynne Kenney, PESI Inc., January 2023
- Executive Function Disorder in Children & Adolescents: Practical Strategies to Improve Metacognitive & Self-Regulation Skills by Kathy Morris, Pesi Ince, November 2022
- Learning How to Learn – Coursera, 2021
- Social Thinking’s Informal Dynamic Assessment Model: Core Treatment Strategies to Improve Social Competencies by Michelle Garcia Winner, 2020
- Social Thinking: Practical Treatment Ideas for Building Social Competencies with Michelle Garcia Winner, Dr Pam Crooke and Nancy Tarshis, 2020
Julia employs a collaborative approach with parents and children to look beyond the diagnosis to create the optimal environment and strategies to overcome their hurdles, develop new skills, self-confidence and independence which is often seen in a growth in maturity and improved academic performance.
In addition to Cogmed, Julia employs a range of cognitive, behavioural and sensory strategies in her therapy. Parent education and coaching are key to her therapy style. She has a background in behaviour management and although gentle and very playful can have a firm style at times when needed.
While she has experience with a wide variety of clients, Julia now works mostly with children from birth to 12 years of age with attention, learning, co-ordination and learning issues. She also enjoys helping children with sensory based sleep difficulties.
As a Cogmed Coach, Julia enjoys working with children and adolescents with attention, working memory and associated executive function challenges.
Julia is a strong believer in the use of play-based learning – particularly in the early childhood years (0-8 years). Therapy sessions are a partnership between therapist, child and parent where the lead of the session can move from adult to child depending on the stage of therapy.
Julia recommends children with severe developmental disabilities seek therapy with therapists who specialise in this area. Julia does not see children with oppositional defiant disorder or primary moderate to severe mental health problems.
Julia was born in Brisbane, grew up in Toowoomba and has lived and worked in the United States. Her family originates from Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England.
Julia is a creative, outgoing person who has enjoyed acting in the theatre, film and TV, and singing on stage and for weddings. Since Covid, she has discovered her green thumb and can often be found enjoying puttering around in her garden.
Sometimes, despite our best efforts you or the therapist may find that you are not a good fit. If your therapist feels that he or she is not best suited to you, he/ she will discuss this with you and recommend a more appropriate therapist.
If you feel that your therapist is not a good fit within the first three sessions, simply discuss this with our admin team who will find a more suitable therapist.