AT A GLANCE
Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
Area of Focus
ASD, ADHD, sensory processing challenges, DCD/Dyspraxia
Sensory integration trained, integrated listening system practitioner
Individual sessions, parent consultations, school consultations, seminars
Michelle has been working as a paediatric occupational therapist for almost 20 years and still gets excited about working with kids every day. Originally from South Africa, where she ran her own successful pediatric private practice, she moved to Brisbane with her young family in 2013 in search of new adventures. She is passionate about working with children of various ages, from babies to adolescents, to help them achieve their goals and reach their potential.
Michelle is committed to collaborating with parents and families and takes a wholistic approach to addressing challenges and meeting the needs in a child’s life. As a parent with 2 young children, she understands that family life is complex and that sometimes the parents need as much support as their children. She also enjoys collaborating with schools and other allied health professionals and sees this as being a valuable part of the therapy journey.
Michelle has worked with many diagnoses over the years such as ASD, ADHD, Dyspraxia, Sensory Processing challenges, and anxiety. She also works with children who have eating and sleeping challenges as well as other skill deficits.
Michelle has predominantly worked in a private clinic setting. She is experienced in assisting infants, children, adolescents and adults with various learning, developmental and emotional difficulties including:
• Autistic spectrum disorders (ASD)
• Sensory processing and regulatory disorders
• Sleep issues
• Feeding difficulties
• Behavioural and emotional difficulties related to regulatory problems
• ADD, ADHD
• Pervasive Developmental Disorder and other developmental delays
• Learning difficulties
• Postural and motor planning problems
- Circles of Security Parenting Course – 2022
- Developing Pretend Play Skills in Children -Advanced by Karen Stagnitti 2019
- Sensory Defensiveness: A Comprehensive Treatment Approach, Avanti Educational Programs (presented by Patricia and Julia Wilbarger), November 2012
- Working With The Younger Child: Observation and Treatment of the 0-4 Year Old , Sensory Spaces , October 2012
- Sensory Integration Treatment Course, The South African Institute for Sensory Integration (SAISI), October 2011
- Instructors Course in Neuman-Neurode’s Baby Postural Exercises, Daryl Jennings (Instructor of Neumann-Neurode’s Exercises), December 2010
- Baby Therapy Workshop, Institute for Occupational Therapists in Private Practice (INSTOP), August 2010
- A Sensory Integration Course on Interpretation, The South African Institute for Sensory Integration (SAISI), October 2008
- SIPT Test Mechanics Course, The South African Institute for Sensory Integration (SAISI), June 2008
- Infant Sensory Integration Training, Megan Faure (Baby Sense), August 2007
- A Basic Introduction to DIR/Floortime Approach, Little Stars, May 2007
- Sensory integration theory and test mechanics (SCISIT), The South African Institute for Sensory Integration (SAISI), March- April 2004
- Cranio Sacral Therapy Level 1, The Upledger Institute, March 2003
- Michelle is a certified sensory integration therapist
Michelle is a trained Sensory Integration practitioner and uses this knowledge and approach to determine where the gaps in a child’s development are and how they can be addressed in a fun, child directed manner. She also has a particular interest in the development and acquisition of play skills and tries to bring a playful approach to all her sessions. Her sessions combine imaginative play with sensory motor activities in the sensory gym to provide a fun and motivating environment for the children to develop their skills. She also does skill building activities such as fine motor tasks, handwriting practice, games and activities to develop executive function skills as well as explicit teaching of social skills and regulation skills.
Michelle believes in engaging the parents in the session where possible and sees parent support and coaching as being an integral part of a child’s therapeutic journey. She has an interest in attachment theory and provides knowledge and guidance to help parents understand their child’s behaviour and needs so they are better equipped to manage the challenges of day-to-day life with their little ones.
She has a special interest in treating clients with sensory processing challenges that affect their ability to function and engage with others in different environments. She also enjoys helping children with various motor planning and postural difficulties learn how to feel their bodies in space and navigate appropriately through their daily activities.
Michelle prefers to not work with clients who are looking to improve on an isolated skill set, such as handwriting, where there are no other developmental, motor planning or sensory processing concerns.
For conditions and problems outside of these areas, Michelle recommends seeing one of the clinics other highly trained and experienced therapists.
Born into a Portuguese family living in South Africa, Michelle was exposed to many different cultures and customs during her life. Though her family celebrated Portuguese traditions, food and culture, she was a part of the greater melting pot of cultural diversity that is the Rainbow Nation. As a result, she enjoys meeting people of different cultures and is open and sensitive to different cultural norms and expectations when working with families.
Michelle loves nature and enjoys going for long walks in the fields and forests. She loves music and dancing and cake, all the important things really! She is an avid puzzle builder, sudoku solver and conundrum conqueror. She loves her family and is always enthralled by the curiosity, bravery, unique insights and hilarity of her children.
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.