Andrea is the founder of Thrive Therapy Services. She completed her undergraduate training in BSc Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Cape Town. Following her undergraduate training she completed a Masters of Arts in Speech Pathology from the University of the Witwatersrand. The focus of her masters dissertation was the aetiology and nature of paediatric dysphagia (0-18 months) in state hospitals, Johannesburg, Gauteng. It was through her masters that her love for infant feeding was born.
After working in a special school for learners with autism spectrum disorder and as a lecturer at the University of the Witwatersrand for a number of years, Thrive Therapy Services was born in 2016.
Andrea has a passion for medically complex infants and young children including those with neurological, genetic, developmental and feeding difficulties. She spends a large portion of her time at neonatal intensive care units in a number of private hospitals around Johannesburg. Andrea loves working in a multidisciplinary team and believes that the children and their families should be at the forefront of care. Andrea recently received her certification as a neonatal therapist and hopes that this will enhance the care provided to the smallest most vulnerable of little ones and their families.
In addition to neonatal work, Andrea loves working with children with feeding challenges, special needs and those with speech-motor difficulties. She particularly enjoys hearing first sounds and words or seeing the first time a child communicates with signs or alternative/augmentative communication.
Andrea regularly lectures at a cross disciplinary postgraduate level and is a strong believer in continued learning and development. To this end, she has completed the Basic NDT/Bobath Course, Advanced NDT/Bobath Baby Course, the SOS Approach to Feeding, PROMPT Introduction and Bridging courses and is a National Makaton Tutor.
Leanne completed her undergraduate training in BCommunication Pathology at the University of Pretoria. Thereafter, she worked at a large tertiary level academic hospital for 4 years. This is where she developed a passion for working with infants and children with feeding difficulties; complex communication disorders and special needs.
She joined Thrive Therapy Services on a part-time basis in 2017 and has been a part of the team full-time since the beginning of 2018. She became an associate at Thrive Therapy Services in June 2019.
Leanne enjoys working closely with her colleagues to provide a multidisciplinary and holistic approach to meet the needs of each individual child and their family. She has continued to expand her knowledge through continued professional development and training. Leanne has completed: the Basic Paediatric Neurodevelopmental Therapy (NDT) 8 week course based on the Bobath Concept; the Advanced Baby NDT 2 week course focusing on the early evaluation and treatment of infants with cerebral motor disturbances; the Makaton introduction and foundation courses; the PROMPT (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) Introduction and Bridging to technique courses; as well as the Tracheostomy and Ventilator Dependent Patients course.
She has had years of experience working in hospitals in the paediatric and neonatal ICUs and has a special interest in the management of paediatric feeding difficulties. She has more recently started being involved in presenting to the Neonatal Nursing College students about feeding in the neonatal intensive care units. She is a strong believer in continued learning and professional development to optimise the care and expertise provided to clients.
“Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete.” – Paul Kalanithi (When breath becomes air)
Photography by Caroline Miller
Kerryn joined Thrive Therapy Services on a part-time basis in March 2020. She also works at a private school in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg.