This is our story

Capable Kids was started at St Mary’s School in 2013 by Samantha Smith. Sarah-Kay Williams joined the team in 2014, where the practice soon diversified to include two more schools, namely Broadacres Academy and Skye College. Sam and Sarah-Kay make a diverse team where the focus is placed on each of their strengths. They have a passion for working as a team and sharing their knowledge with other professionals. As a team they have enjoyed assisting in the training of new therapists, problem-solving and continually questioning how to improve their intervention. Our practice values the input of all staff members and we have regular team building, training or collaborative discussions in order to further our knowledge. The practice also collaborates with multiple professionals including speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, remedial therapists, teachers and doctors. We value a multidisciplinary approach to ensure that a child is viewed holistically.

Leading Ladies

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Samantha Smith

Sam qualified in 2007 with a BSc in Occupational therapy from Wits University. She gained a variety of experience in both government and private settings, including hospitals, remedial schools, mainstream schools and private practice. She completed her Masters in Sensory Perception and Cognitive Processing at Wits in 2013, resulting in her becoming sensory integration qualified. Her research focused on classroom strategies for children with learning difficulties. In addition, she completed the first three courses of the Ayres sensory integration certificate by the South African Institute for Sensory Integration. Sam has always had a thirst for knowledge and values courses that place emphasis on expanding her knowledge in understanding the younger child. She has completed her introduction into DIR Floortime and hopes to receive her full qualification with time. Sam was the founder of Capable Kids Occupational Therapy in 2013. She has always had a passion for children finding it essential to be approachable and playful in nature. Having three young children of her own, Sam understands the stress of parenting and ensuring that intervention is achievable and practical, by fitting it into your current routine. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with others and aims to facilitate more practical implementation and understanding of the values of occupational therapy in schools and within home environments.

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Sarah-Kay Williams

Sarah-Kay has always loved children and therefore choose to study occupational therapy in order to help children achieve their potential. She completed her BSc Occupational Therapy Degree at the University of Cape Town in 2010. Sarah-Kay worked in a variety of settings, heading up a government occupational therapy department, gaining experience in adult neurology as well as  working with a huge variety of children, from varying backgrounds and experiencing vast difficulties. In 2014, Sarah-Kay started working at Capable Kids with Samantha Smith. Together, over the years their partnership has continued to grow along with their incredible practice. Sarah-Kay completed her sensory integration qualification in 2018. She continues to further her knowledge in a variety of areas including doing her introduction to DIR Floortime, although has a special interest is working with sensory integration difficulties. Sarah-Kay absolutely loves her job, loving the smiley faces and resilient little people she gets to work with every day. As a new mom, Sarah-Kay is especially passionate about understanding every child as a unique being, understanding their sensory systems and how she can assist each child to reach their optimal potential.

Our Talented Team

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Lara Clarkson

Lara completed her BSC in Occupational Therapy at Wits University in 2017 where she first developed her passion for helping children and their families overcome the obstacles impacting their everyday life. After some experience working with a variety of conditions in the government setting Lara started working at Capable Kids Occupational Therapy in January 2019 at St Mary’s School and Broadacres Academy. Here Lara has discovered her passion for learning and growing as a therapist to provide the best possible therapy she can for the children and families in her care. Lara still enjoys working with a wide range of children, however, she is slowly developing her passion for the younger population, early childhood intervention, and for helping those children with more significant barriers to playing, learning and developing. Lara is currently completing her Masters in Occupational Therapy in paediatrics at Wits University part-time which she started in January 2020. Lara’s research is focusing on understanding the outdoor play spaces in Johannesburg early childhood developmental centres. She is also in the process of completing her Ayre’s sensory integration certification through the South African Institute for Sensory Integration. In the future, Lara would also like to complete her DIR Floortime training.

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Ella Topham

Ella is an occupational therapist who qualified with a BSc in Occupational Therapy from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2017. After gaining some experience in rural communities of South Africa Ella joined the Capable Kids team in 2019 to work at St Mary’s School. Ella has a passion for working with children and sees the value of working together with the family and the child's teacher to ensure that the child works to their best potential. She has a hands-on approach and believes that learning through play facilitates the development of fundamental skills and achieves individual success. Ella applies the value of individualised treatment to every child and family she works with. Ella is also in the process of closing her Ayre’s sensory integration certification through the South African Institute for Sensory Integration and has completed her introduction to DIR Floortime.

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Kelly Thompson

Kelly graduated from the University of the Free State with a Bachelors of Occupational Therapy degree in 2017. Kelly has received experience at various private practises before joining Capable Kids in 2019 where her passion for working with children with sensory integration and engagement difficulties was discovered. She is currently completing her sensory integration certifications through the South African Institute for Sensory Integration and plans to obtain her full DIR Floortime qualification as well. Kelly has undergone further training to develop her skills and knowledge in other areas such as Neurodevelopmental techniques for children with cerebral palsy and completed a play therapy course in order to ensure she treats her clients holistically. Kelly has a great love and passion for working with children especially those that are misunderstood or have difficulty connecting to the world around them. Her playful and enthusiastic personality and dynamic approach to therapy help her to understand and connect with each of her children in order to help them discover their strengths, overcome their challenges and reach their true magical potential. 

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Tanym Burger

Tanym attended Stellenbosch University and graduated with a BSc in Sport Science in 2012 and an Honours in Sport Science specialising in Kinderkinetics in 2013. She then continued with her studies and qualified with a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy in 2017 also from Stellenbosch University. Tanym gained experience in a government hospital setting working with a variety of adult and paediatric conditions. She is passionate about working with children and making sure they reach their full potential in school, in their social lives and family lives assisting children to dream big and believe in themselves and their abilities. She believes that each child is different, and a single solution will not fit every child, therefore an individualised treatment plan based on the child’s unique needs and interests is needed. She enjoys working with children of a variety of ages and developmental difficulties including Autism Spectrum disorder. Tanym has always strived to continue learning and she is currently completing her sensory integration certification through the South African Institute for Sensory Integration. She has also completed her introduction to DIR Floortime and plans to complete the full qualification.