The Team at Polkaspot

Occupational Therapists

Kerry Wallace
BSc.OT  (UCT) MSc.OT (WITS), SI Cert., NDT Cert. Therapeutic  Listening
Peggy Shnaps 
BSc.OT (UCT) NDT Cert. Therapeutic Listening and Solisten Consultant
Megan Faure 
BSc. OT (UCT), OTR, SI certified, NDT certified. Special interest in fussy babies & toddlers
Jade Pincus 
BSc. Occupational Therapy (UCT)
Heather Maile 
B. Occupational Therapy (US)

Speech & Language Therapist

 
Liné Kruger
B. Speech, Language and Hearing Therapy (Stell)

Clinical Psychologist

Oliver Mitchell
MA Clin. Psych. (UCT), PGC in Edu. (UCT)

Dietician

Michelle Wakelin
Bsc Dietetics (Hons)(Stell) cum laude Garrett Cooley-Maree & Associates.

Principal and Teacher

Debra Wallace
DEJP111 (Rhodes) & HDE Pre Primary (Barkley House)

 

WHAT WE DO

OUR PHILISOPHY:

Multidisciplinary early intervention is internationally regarded as the best practice.

Research indicates that the best results are achieved when intervention takes place before the child begins formal education and that this reduces the duration of the child’s therapy.

At Polka Spot we are dedicated to this holistic approach.

In South Africa, children are often only referred for therapy once they have started formal schooling.   By this stage relatively minor differences in their development have been compounded, often by an emotional dimension.  This may affect the child’s self esteem and impact on early learning.


Occupational Therapy
Is about optimising function in all aspects of life. Play is vital in the early development of children.

Our Occupational Therapists believe in this notion, and use facilitated play during the foundation years, enabling essential childhood development to take place.

We work with children, their parents, schools and other involved professionals in support of this philosophy.

We believe each child is unique and needs to be evaluated in order to establish the best route of intervention.

As the environment is calm and inviting, children feel safe and comfortable and are more receptive to achieving positive results. Occupational therapy a vehicle that is used effectively in assisting children with difficulties as well as those who may be showing the onset of potential problems.
We strongly believe in the old adage that prevention is better than cure.Intervention and prevention are two key components that we find work well together to nurture the development of functional happy children.

We have a special interest in providing an integrated service to families of children at risk, especially children with autism spectrum disorders and offer the following interventions:

Sensory Integration Therapy (SI) / Sensory Processing
We believe that the ability to process sensory information provides the framework for much of children’s development. Sensory Integration difficulties may manifest as being sensitive to touch, sound and movement, resulting in difficulties related to sleep, feeding, concentration, motor planning (dyspraxia), and learning.   

Neurodevelopmental Therapy (NDT)
Is a treatment approach used for the assessment and management of children who have motor and sensory problems and is non invasive. It assists infants and children with postural control, tone and movement patterns.

Therapeutic Listening and Solisten
Home programmes are offered for children with auditory processing difficulties affecting language development, social interaction, play, attention, memory and emotional regulation.


Speech Therapy


Aims to develop the child’s:

  • communication skills

  • pre-verbal skills including eye contact, play, joint attention, use of gesture, facial expression, turn-taking and imitation

  • understanding of verbal and non-verbal language

  • use of verbal and non-verbal language

  • receptive and expressive vocabulary and word retrieval

  • listening and auditory perceptual skills

  • oro-motor skills

  • articulation and phonology (speech production)

  • feeding and swallowing

  • social skills and social thinking

  • reading and spelling skills

  • phonological awareness skills

Our Speech Therapists have a broad range of presenting difficulties including swallowing problems, language delays and disorders, speech difficulties, learning difficulties, apraxia, auditory  processing problems, and reading and spelling difficulties.
They have a special interest in working with children with Global Developmental Delay, Down Syndrome, Central Auditory Processing Disorders and those on the Autistic Spectrum.



Play Therapy
Play therapy is a therapeutic approach which enables children to explore and express their feelings in order to make sense of their life experiences.  Children learn, communicate and explore most effectively through play. Therefore, play is an appropriate way of encouraging children to express themselves rather than having to put their feelings into words. This experience empowers children and increases their self-esteem, thereby helping them manage better both at home and at school. 


PSYCHOMETRIC ASSESSMENT

Psychometric tests are tools than can measure psychological functions including cognitive, interest, aptitude and personality functioning in a variety of sectors.

A psychometric assessment may be beneficial in the following ways:

  • Identifying general potential
  • Identifying specific areas of strength, which may be indicative of learning style and aptitude, to be further developed for future scholastic and vocational success.
  • Identifying areas of weakness, which may be indicative of specific learning disabilities that may require remediation (e.g. ADD, ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, fine motor difficulties).
  • Identifying appropriate intervention programmes and / or referring to schools for learners with special educational needs.
  • Identifying emotional and behavioural difficulties for referral to a counsellor or psychologist.

The psychometric tests used, are approved by the Psychometrics Committee of the Professional Board of Psychology in South Africa.


Dietetics

Diet and nutritional status are instrumental to your child’s overall health and wellbeing, growth and development. Michelle, registered dietitian from Garrett, Cooley - Maree & Associates, a dietetic practice with a special interest in paediatrics, shares their passion and ethos of providing evidence- based nutritional advice as well as making nutrition a fun and enjoyable experience for the whole family.

We offer a supportive and hands on approach at Polkaspot focusing on the specific challenges your child as an individual is facing. Amongst others, we can offer practical advice in the following areas:

  • Appetite changes (increased or poor appetite) due to medication, depression and anxiety.
  • Picky or fussy eaters
  • Nutrition related aspects of autism spectrum disorders
  • ADHD or ADD
  • Obesity
  • Growth faltering
  • General healthy eating advice
  • Allergies
  • Feeding difficulties (aversions, dysphagia) and reflux
  • Gastrointestinal disorders, constipation, diarrhoea
  • Iron deficiency anaemia
  • Ketogenic diets
  • PEGs (Percutaneous endoscopic gastronomy) and gastrostomies
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