Katie met Nathan just before he was 3 and was involved in his care for approximately a year. He was non-verbal and developmentally delayed and went on to be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Global Developmental Delay with a chromosomal abnormality.
Katie was able to engage quickly with Nathan and positive progress in his ability to communicate and behaviour followed from her very first session with him.
Katie is professional, kind, reliable and extremely knowledgeable regarding children's development and importantly, strategies to help both parent and child with any ASD issues. She was invaluable when it came to helping me to manage Nathan's behaviour and to understand how best to help him to learn and develop.
Early intervention is so important for the child's best long term outcome. Without Katie's skills in teaching Nathan and I how to use PECS and visual timetables, I honestly do not think he would be so verbally eloquent now or have such fantastic social communication skills.
Nathan is a happy, caring boy, who is doing really well in a provision within a mainstream school. I will be eternally grateful to Katie for all her hard work in enabling Nathan to be the best he can be. Nathan still remembers Katie with a big smile on his face and he is now nearly 9 years old.
I started working with Katie in September 2018 with my 3 year old son who was awaiting an autism assessment. Her advice, play and experience was invaluable and I feel that my son improved his speech, attention span and grew in confidence with the advice she gave. When the Government scheme ended in December 2018 Katie gave me continued support and advice on what to do next. Working on the targets Katie gave me proved invaluable and by September 2019 my son was “school ready”.
When our younger son Tommy was around 2-3 years old, we grew increasingly concerned at his lack of speech and social development. We worked with Katie for three months. She was a God send for us and Tommy! The play therapy sessions brought Tommy's speech out and improved his social skills. It was as if she had opened the door to Tommy’s thoughts and feelings. In a very short space of time his communication skills began to flourish, using a breadth of words and sentences that had us in tears of joy and relief. He would wait at the door for Katie to arrive with a smile on his face. Katie would also visit the playgroup regularly to monitor his progress following the programme that she had presented to the staff.
When we decided which school would best meet Tommy's needs, Katie contacted and worked with the school to ensure that the transition process ran as smoothly as possible. She really couldn't have made it easier for Tommy, the teachers and us. Katie was absolutely brilliant and always went beyond our level of expectation.
We will be forever grateful for her help. She has kick-started a very important process and passed onto us as parents a lot of her knowledge about autism. We wish Katie every success and the very best on her journey. If you decide to work with Katie, I am sure you will not regret it. She has a wealth of experience, knowledge and always gives 150%.
Katie worked with my son who is four and made such a difference within a short period of time. We had used speech and occupational therapists for over two years yet six weeks of Katie working with my son made a greater impact than the other therapists ever had. Katie has a wealth of knowledge on autism and does not use a fit for all approach. Katie tailors the intervention for the child and understand how each child with autism is so unique. She gave me the tools to ensure that when the sessions were finished I could continue. We discussed what needed to be worked on and set goals. I always felt Katie really wanted to make a difference and has such a passion for working with children with autism. I will be forever grateful for the work she did with my son and in turn helped me to cope. You will not find any other intervention like this from other therapists, it really is unique.
Katie visited our home to provide a weekly support to Evan over a three month period in early 2019 by getting him to take part in various one to one games. Katie is naturally kind, patient and understanding throughout her sessions with Evan. During the visits she initiated games that most likely would capture the attention of Evan to get him interested in being involved in the play. Evan benefited in the play as Katie provided him with many opportunities to apply his inherent and learned social communication skills using eye contact and simple verbal requests. Katie also introduced PECS to Evan which helped him to communicate his needs by requesting using picture exchange. Evan enjoyed all sessions with Katie and I could see marked improvement in Evan in terms of his social communication and behaviour. I highly recommend Katie to children with autism particularly those in early years.
Katie worked with my family for a period of 12 weeks. Over this time, she would come to the family home and help us to engage with our daughter in play, singing, dancing and also helped her to master the use of PECS.
Katie also provided invaluable emotional support at a time when your daughter is given a diagnosis of severe ASD and your world is turned upside down. Discharged from other services and left to ‘get on with it’, Katie went above and beyond what was expected of her, providing the emotional support, advice and just being there. She is so kind hearted and thoughtful and nothing was ever too much for her.
Joan Ratcliff - Senior Advisory ASD Teacher at Bexley Early Autism Service
Katie has a deep understanding of how children with Autism learn and can convey this extremely effectively to others. Over the years, Katie has developed a range of highly effective interventions to enable her to tailor her approach to each child and family. Katie's particular strength is her sensitivity for the children and families with whom she works. She has an intuitive understanding of their needs and the ability to adapt to meet these.
Katie is an excellent communicator with a quiet yet confident, reassuring manner which enables her to work effectively with children, colleagues, parents, school staff and other professionals, Her quiet persistence has often allowed staff and children to succeed against the odds. She is a highly professional, dedicated person who constantly strives to further her knowledge. She is creative and innovative, using her depth of understanding to enable the best outcome for children and make a difference to the lives of both children and their families.
Helen Nicholson - Former Colleague at Bexley Early Autism Service
I have known Katie for 20 years and worked with her at Bexley’s Early Autism Services for 18 years. Katie is a highly experienced therapist who is trained in a wide variety of accredited approaches, techniques and strategies designed to support children with Autism in Early years settings and with their families in their own homes. Katie always treats each child as an individual and working together with parents she uses her years of experience to create tailor-made intervention plans to help support each child's unique needs. Engagement with parents is key for Katie and she models techniques in an easy-to-follow format which in turn empowers parents with new skills and a deeper understanding of how their child learns. Her inventive play-based therapy sessions are always child centred and are highly motivating for each child. Katie always ensures there are clear learning objectives in each therapy session aimed at supporting and developing specific learning areas such as early communication skills, play & social interactions and sensory processing needs. Katie always approaches her home therapy sessions well prepared and delivers them in a calm, friendly, fun, and playful way.
Katie also has wide experience in delivering top quality training to staff in Early Years Settings, enabling children to receive joined up Autism support both in their Early Years Settings and at home. Katie works together seamlessly with other professionals to co-ordinate and enhance the support and advice she gives, and her reports, written assessments and evaluations are always meticulously considered and highly professional.
I would not hesitate to highly recommend Katie to any parent or Early Years setting who are looking for outstanding Early Years Autism support.