Rosaline Van de Weyer BSc. (Hons), MSc.
Director of Dyspraxia UK
I qualified as an Occupational Therapist (OT) in 1998, from University St John in York. I have enjoyed working at established teaching hospitals such as Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery (NHNN) in London. In 2004 I gained an MSc in Rehabilitation Science from Southampton University. This gave me an interest in research and, most importantly, how it can be used to improve clinical services to clients. Along side the MSc. I undertook a two-year research post at NHNN to co-ordinate a project looking at goal setting in neurological rehabilitation. Consequently I have presented papers at National and International conferences.
After the research post I took on a clinical roles in acute neurological rehabilitation and out-patient rehabilitation, which covered return to work programmes.
Following the arrival of my family I moved away from London and worked for Hertfordshire Community NHS Trust for four years as therapy team manager and specialist clinician. I provided detailed assessments and personalised rehabilitation programmes for people in their own homes. During this time I trained in using motivational interviewing techniques to help my staff and clients achieve their goals.
I am an active member of the British Association of Occupational Therapy and two special interest groups: Independent Practice and Neurological Practice. Due to my increasing work with students, which I thoroughly enjoy, I benefit from Affiliate Professional member of PATOSS. I am registered with the Health Care and Professions Council (HCPC) and have full liability insurance.
During the last few years I have been expanding my neurological expertise in to the field of neurodiversity. I really enjoy working with people living with Dyspraxia and other neurodiverse conditions (such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Auditory Processing Disorders) to help them live fulfilled autonomous lives.
In order to develop my skills in legal report writing and presentation, in March 2015 I gained certification as an Expert Witness from Cardiff University Law School, following comprehensive training with Bond Solon in London. Training undertaken in 2017 is proving to be very motivating and worthwhile. In February 2017, I completed intensive training in the use of an innovative ‘serious play’ technique using LEGO to help individuals and teams answer challenging questions. In March 2017, I attended the National Handwriting Association (NHA) advanced training on handwriting assessment and techniques. Subsequently I am on the national NHA register of qualified handwriting tutors. Most recently, in March 2018, I completed an Auditory Processing masterclass at University College London, which is an common overlapping condition in the neurodiverse population.
I strive to use the best evidence-based practice in my clinical work and in the development of my Occupational Therapy service: Dyspraxia UK.
Client Liaison Manager
I have had many years’ experience working as a Personal Assistant providing full confidential secretarial support to various businesses and during this time I gained my NVQ Level 2 and 3 in Business Administration. In 2008, I took a career break to raise my three children. From 2013 to 2018 I worked for Melbourn Parish Council where I gained my CiLCA Certificate in Local Council Administration awarded at level 3 of the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) after which I was able to take up the role of Parish Clerk. In January 2018, I joined Dyspraxia UK to help with the day to day running of the business.
Rebecca Poberezny BSc. Occupational Therapy
After graduating with a Degree in Occupational Therapy in 1994 from Oxford Brookes University, I went on to spend the majority of my practice in hospitals of excellence, assessing and treating adults with physical disabilities. On becoming a key part of an innovative mobile stroke unit, in Stoke Mandeville Hospital my passion for neurology began. I worked with clients who had sustained long and short-term neurological conditions using intensive rehabilitation and adaptive aids.
I went on to enjoy ten years at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge where I led a large dynamic Occupational Therapy team. I continue to take pride in ensuring my clients received the best intervention for their needs by keeping up to date with best practice guidance and innovations.
I have completed advanced training in Developmental Coordination Disorder assessment and treatment approaches with Dyspraxia UK becoming a consultant Occupational Therapist for Dyspraxia UK in 2014. I thoroughly enjoy this specialist area initially working with adults who have yet to be diagnosed and need answers for their day-to-day struggles at work and home.
In 2016 I continued to expand and update my knowledge in Paediatrics by attending a weeklong residential course carried out by the Royal Free Hospital in London. Again, enthused about my practice with children to succeed especially within the school setting.
I attended the National Handwriting Association (NHA) 6-day advanced training on handwriting assessment and techniques in 2018. This has been invaluable with the majority of my clients especially children and young adults as they navigate the educational system. I have continued to keep up to date with my special interest in handwriting by attending the members yearly study day with the aim of making it easier for students to commit their brilliant ideas to the page. I strive to produce practical recommendations and thorough reports especially helpful in guiding schools, colleges and universities in this specialist area which is often misunderstood. I aim to make my assessments and therapy calm relaxed and informative in order to get the best results, often having clients relieved at the outcome as they can finally make sense of their struggles and more importantly do something actively about it.
I am registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as well as the British Association of Occupational Therapy plus the Royal College of Occupational Therapy special interest group for independent practitioners and have full indemnity insurance. I regularly attend professional conferences and specifically enjoy the focus on topics around dyspraxia and neurodiversity. I endeavour to use client centred specialised assessment and Occupational Therapy goal-based coaching therapy, along with up to date, evidenced based practice with the aim of promoting independence for all ages in their daily lives.
Wendy Webber BSc. (Hons)
I qualified as an Occupational Therapist (OT) from Oxford Brookes University in 1993 and have enjoyed worked in various NHS setting and Community Teams. These include neurology, working on the wards with acutely ill patients with a range of conditions and within the rehabilitation unit; general medicine, psychiatry, orthopaedics, elderly care and Palliative care providing me with a wide and varied set of clinical skills.
I then took a career break with the arrival of my fourth baby and moving with my family to our farm. During this time my interest in Dyspraxia and other neurodiverse conditions (such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Auditory Processing Disorders) grew. This was started by the struggle I was having as a parent of a Dyspraxic child; there seemed to be very little offered by my GP and a complete lack of knowledge and support from my son’s school.
Since 2010, I have completed advanced training in this area and have been a consultant with Dyspraxia UK since 2011. I specialise in providing high quality assessment and up to date strategies to support people of all ages, in managing symptoms of DCD.
I took an active role in a research study into the (positive) effects of wearing core pressure belts to aid movement and concentration. The research was presented as a poster at an OT conference. I enjoy delivering DCD/Dyspraxia awareness training for both the public and private sectors.
I feel passionately about DCD and associated conditions because I have 4 children with DCD, as well as having it myself. I am very frustrated by the lack of knowledge and available support for people with this and associate conditions. I want to help people to achieve their potential and lead a fulfilling life.
I am registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and a member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT) and the following BOAT special interest groups: children young people and families and independent practice. In addition, I have qualified as a specialist Handwriting tutor with the National Handwriting Association, as many of the people I see struggle in this area.
Helen Kleiser BSc. (Hons), MSc.
I graduated as an Occupational Therapist in 2001, from Brunel University in London. Since this time I have worked in a number of clinical fields, including mental health, physical rehabilitation, palliative care, falls and neurology. Further to my professional qualification I completed a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation in 2005, which broadened my knowledge base and enhanced my ability to critically analyse the effectiveness of clinical practice in relation to research.
Throughout my career I have continually updated my professional knowledge in order to offer clients individualised, holistic therapy programmes that are based on both clinical evidence and expertise. I am trained to utilise counselling skills, anxiety management and motivational interviewing in my practice, alongside more specific neurological approaches. I am also a qualified Postural Stability Instructor. As well as a clinician, I have significant management experience, with the latter part of my career spent working as a Professional Lead in Occupational Therapy. In this role I was responsible for the training and mentorship of staff, alongside service and strategy development in order to enhance therapy provision.
My clinical expertise lies very much within the field of neurology, where I have developed a keen interest in working with those with Dyspraxia. I am a strong advocate for the role of Occupational Therapy in providing comprehensive assessment and intervention strategies for those with the condition, in order for them to achieve their goals and to lead a more fulfilling life.
I am fully registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and an active member of the British Association of Occupational Therapy (BAOT).
Mary Lymer Dip. COT
After completing sixth form studies I spent a year as a full time volunteer at a Barnardo’s school where I worked as a member of the residential care staff. It was through enabling the children to participate in everyday activities that I discovered Occupational Therapy and decided it was the career for me.
I trained at the Welsh School of Occupational Therapy, qualifying in 1993. As a junior I was able to attend an introductory training day on Sensory Integration and this together with my research, “The Nature and Use of Play in Paediatric Occupational Therapy” lead to an interest in sensory issues. I have worked in a variety of NHS Hospitals and community services including neuro rehabilitation, psychiatry, general medicine and surgery, wheelchair and special seating service. I currently work part time for a Local Authority in a team specialising in supporting those living with dementia.
Working with children has always featured in my life through leadership roles in the Scout and Guide Movements and at Woodlarks Camps for physically handicapped girls. I have been involved in Scouting since 1987 as a leader. I have always enjoyed enabling people to participate whatever their ability and have been quite inventive at times to achieve the aim! Through watching friends’ children develop and linking back my initial interest in the work of Jean Ayres and Sensory Integration I began to develop my skills further on a number of advanced training days with Dyspraxia UK to become a specialist Assessor of adults with dyspraxia.
During the past year I have provided training to other health professionals to increase the awareness of Dyspraxia and other associated conditions.
Caroline Currid BA(Hons), Dip OT, MSc.
I completed my BA(Hons) at Lancaster University in 1991, graduating with a degree in Economics and Sociology. After a period of voluntary work for The Shaftsbury Society and travelling, I began my Postgraduate Diploma in Occupational Therapy at the Royal London Medical Hospital in Whitechapel. In 1998 I qualified as an Occupational Therapist. I worked in a variety of settings in East and North London developing my skills and gaining experience. I worked with adults in the areas of Mental Health, Learning Difficulties and Neurology. I particularly enjoyed the community aspect of my work; supporting individuals to access college or work, developing life skills and independence.
Then in 2005, I moved away from London, initially to Worcestershire and then to Bristol, where I took on a role in a Community Paediatric Occupational Therapy team. I have worked with children and young people with complex physical, neurological and developmental needs; including Autistic Spectrum disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Sensory Processing Difficulties and Developmental Coordination Disorder. I really enjoyed working with individuals and their families using a client centred approach, to enable the development of skills, confidence and independence in all aspects of an individual’s life.
I have undertaken postgraduate training in Handwriting, Sensory processing and in Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)/Dyspraxia for both Children and Adults. I have a keen interest in research and evidence based practice and in 2011 completed an MSc in Occupational Therapy at London South bank University. As part of the programme of study I lead a research project on Occupational Therapy Intervention for young people with handwriting difficulties. I am currently pursuing research funding to undertake a further study focused on individuals with DCD.
In September 2014, I completed my advanced training in Dyspraxia/DCD assessment and treatment approaches with Dyspraxia UK to further develop my expertise in neurodiversity. I thoroughly enjoy working in this specialist area. Throughout all my work, I am passionate about supporting children and adults to develop their self-confidence and fulfil their potential in life.
Debbie England, BSc (Hons)
I qualified with a BSc degree in Occupational Therapy from Canterbury and Christchurch University College in 2004. Previously to this, I trained as a nursery nurse, working in a private day nursery.
After initially completing a rotational post in general medicine, I worked as the lead OT for the Promoting Independence Team for Social Services.
From 2007 and before joining Dyspraxia UK in 2016, I worked for a Paediatric Occupational Therapy service in the NHS, providing therapy for children within mainstream and special schools, for children aged from birth to 19 years of age and worked as the Team Lead for the Mainstream Schools Service.
I have worked in Private Practice since 2009, helping children and adults to develop their independence skills and motor coordination, alongside working in the NHS, ensuring that I provide a gold standard service for the families who I work with. I provide assessment of people’s day-to-day function including issues with sensory processing, emotional regulation, dyspraxia/motor coordination difficulties and executive functioning problems. I enjoy helping individuals to reach their full potential, establishing new habits and strategies to make life feel more manageable and in control.
I sat on the CYPF (Children, Young Person and Families) special interest group as the Regional Representative, and contributed to the expert panel for the publication ‘My Child and Me’, a lifestyle magazine for parents of children with additional needs. I am registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as well as the British Association of Occupational Therapy and a member of the National Handwriting Association (NHA).
In 2016, I completed advanced training in Dyspraxia assessment and treatment approaches with Dyspraxia UK. Additionally, I have completed postgraduate training in SOS Approach to Feeding, Picky Eaters or Problem Feeders, Primitive Reflex Training for Therapists, School AMPS, ensuring that I maintain current and up to date in my knowledge base.
I have been applying Sensory Integration approaches to my therapy intervention since doing further training in 2008.
I am passionate about helping adults, children and their families and look forward to meeting you!
Dr Rob Kirkwood, D.OccT, MSc/PGDip.OT, BA (Hons)
In 2013, I gained a Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy for participatory action research I undertook with cohorts of young people with hearing impairment, exploring their lived experience. I have presented my research at conferences both nationally and internationally and have recently co-edited a text book exploring diverse roles for occupational therapists published by M&K Publishing.
Through my mental health and neurodevelopmental work with children and families I have seen first-hand how neurodiversity can be overlooked or misdiagnosed. This has prompted me to develop my knowledge and skills in this fascinating field and has bolstered my commitment to help and support young people and families in making sense of their experiences and to manage its impact upon their daily lives.
I am a member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists (BOAT); the College of Occupational Therapists (COT) and two of its specialist sections - Children, Young People & Families (SS-CYPF) and Independent Practice (SS-IP); the Sensory Integration Network UK and Ireland; and am registered with the HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council).
Vikki Pestell, BSc Occupational Therapy
I decided to become an Occupational Therapist after seeing the impact of our work while volunteering overseas. I returned to the North East of England to begin my degree in Occupational Therapy at Northumbria University, but continued to volunteer overseas at every opportunity.
Seeing the profound impact therapy makes in the lives of children and young people, as well as their families, both here and overseas I completed my degree in Occupational Therapy at Northumbria University.
During the course of my career I’ve completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Child and Adolescent Mental Health as well as become a certified Sensory Integration Practitioner and specialist training in Dyspraxia/Developmental Coordination Disorder.
Kate Cartwright, BSc (Hons)
I have over 20 years’ experience as a qualified Occupational Therapist both in the UK and overseas. Working largely for the NHS since qualifying in 2000, I have worked in a variety of settings in Physical, Mental health, Autism services and vocational (work) rehabilitation. In addition to my Dyspraxia UK consultancy work, I work part time as a specialist Occupational Therapist in an NHS Asperger’s Service. I provide assessment of people’s day-to-day function including issues with sensory processing, emotional regulation, dyspraxia/motor coordination difficulties and executive functioning problems. I am qualified as a Sensory Integration Practitioner and have gained over 8 years’ experience of applying Ayres Sensory Integration Therapy to practice using a specialist therapy space and mentorship. I am proficient in using a range of sensory assessments including the Sensory Integrations and Praxis Tests (SIPT) which identifies sensory based motor disorders, and the impact on function using tools such as the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS). I have advanced training in DCD/Dyspraxia assessment and interventions for adults. I enjoy applying these skills in my work to help people make the most of their lives. I also offer workplace assessments and advise HR/Occupational Health on reasonable adjustments.
I regularly deliver training on Autism and Sensory Processing with peer specialists to groups of professionals, carers, and people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, using my experience and specialism within the field.
I am a registered member of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as well as a member of the British Association of Occupational Therapy. I am an active member of a specialist section with the Royal College of Occupational Therapy and enjoy keeping up to date with the latest clinical evidence.
In 1972 I gained an Honours degree in Anthropology at Durham University and spent the following two years undertaking field studies in India and Ethiopia.
Returning to East Anglia, I became a founder member of a therapeutic farm-based community for adults with a mental disorder or who were living through a life crisis. For the next sixteen years I realised time and again that meaningful activity is central to people discovering their self-worth.
In 1995, I qualified in Occupational Therapy at the London Hospital Medical College and have worked as a paediatric occupational therapist since 1996, full time for 10 years in schools for the NHS, then in parallel for the NHS and independently, and since 2012 as an independent practitioner.
My specialisms are in the fields of sensory processing, auditory processing and DCD/dyspraxia: Sensory Integration Therapy and Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests certified, trained in auditory processing assessments and to an advanced level in five different auditory stimulation techniques including bone conduction.
In 2006 I gained an MSc in Health Studies at the University of East Anglia, which gave me the opportunity to conduct research into the effectiveness, including the cost effectiveness, of the different therapies available for children with DCD /Dyspraxia, Auditory Processing Disorders, ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Disorders. The outcome was that if there were no therapy, the children did not change, but if there were therapy, the children’s behaviour and health improved significantly.
I regularly lead Dyspraxia UK training courses for occupational therapists and teaching staff on the assessment of motor skills, sensory processing profiles and auditory processing abilities.
My passion is working with young people, together with their families and schools in order to help them achieve self-confidence, practical skills and enjoyment of life.
Shamsah Hall, BSc. (Hons), PGCert.
My first experience of Occupational Therapy was in 2008, when I joined the NHS as an Occupational Therapy Assistant within the children and young people’s Occupational Therapy service. I knew I found my passion as I enjoy making a positive difference to people’s lives and enabling them to reach their full potential. I pursued further training to qualify as an Occupational Therapist in 2014, graduating at Coventry University with a first-class honors degree.
I joined the Neurodevelopmental Service in 2014, where I helped to set up the Occupational Therapy provision. As part of my role, I provided holistic assessments and bespoke therapy to children, young people and their families with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Tourette’s, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), significant mental health needs, motor coordination difficulties and sensory processing difficulties (SPD). I also worked in collaboration with the Psychiatry team to support the assessment and diagnosis of ADHD in children and young people. I also worked in partnership with the Consultant Pediatricians to assess and diagnose for Dyspraxia.
With over 10 years’ experience of working in the NHS within the community, I decided to pursue a part-time role as a school based Occupational Therapist working with children and young people with ASD, ADHD, Dyspraxia, social, emotional and mental health needs, attachment difficulties, trauma, and SPD, in addition to working as an Independent OT.
Through my experience and various roles, I have found an interest in working with individuals with neurodiversity, mental health needs, attachment difficulties, trauma, and SPD. I have furthered my training and gained a postgraduate certificate with distinction in Sensory Integration, through Sheffield Hallam University, in 2021, and completed further studies in attachment, trauma and Dyspraxia.
I am a research enthusiast, and I presented my undergraduate research at the children, young people and families (CYPF) conference in 2016.
I enjoy learning and keeping up to date with the current evidence base to help inform my practice and provide the best service to my clients.
I am a Practice Educator for Coventry University and support Occupational Therapy students on their learning journey to become qualified Occupational Therapists.
I am a member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) and the Specialist Section for Independent Practitioners (SS-IP), Sensory Integration Education and I am registered with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
In my spare time I love walking, kickboxing, pilates, yoga and baking.
Jan Mulligan - Ergonomics and Disability Consultant MSc, PGC, MSc (Dist)
I am a qualified Ergonomist and a specialist in disability and assistive, adaptive and access technology solutions. My qualifications include an MSc. (Distinction) in Human Computer Interaction and Ergonomics from University College London (UCL) in 2009, a Post Graduate Certificate in Applied Ergonomics from the University of Nottingham in 2006, and an MSc. in Cognitive Science and Intelligent Computing from the University of Westminster in 1997. I am a member of the Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors (IEHF) and of the British Computer Society (BCS).
My professional career in disability started in 1997 with the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB), where I assessed the computer access needs of visually impaired individuals within the workplace and education. In 2001 I joined AbilityNet, a national pan-disability charity providing IT-related assessment of need, information, advice and support to individuals with any type of disability, of any age, and in any life situation, as well as to professionals and support organisations.
In 2008 I set up my own consultancy, Greenleafe Ergonomics (www.greenleafe.co.uk). We specialise in the prevention, management and reduction of task-related ill-health and accessibility problems associated with disability and/or computer use. Through practical and individually tailored services we assist those with disabilities, medical conditions, chronic or acute injuries, sensory, neuro-diversity and/or literacy difficulties, as well as providing support during the process of returning to study or work following illness or maternity leave. Our clients are based throughout the UK and include blue chip companies, national charities, small & medium sized enterprises (SMEs), sole traders/self-employed, all levels of the education sector, and individuals requiring mobile or home-based solutions. We also work with clients outside the UK, through technologies such as Skype.