Joanna Buttfield is the founder and Executive Director – Clinical Operations of Kid Sense Child Development which was founded in 1998.
An Occupational Therapist by training, Joanna has worked as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist in two countries for more than 25 years. With her extensive experience in working with children from 3 months to 18 years, her passion lies sharing her knowledge of work with children with additional needs so that through the ‘ripple effect’ she can positively impact the lives of as many children as possible.
This drive has led to her speaking to a wide variety of groups over the last 10 years, running full day hands-on training to short lecture-based learning sessions for teachers, Early Childhood Workers, Special Service Officers, parents and special interest groups.
An energetic speaker who favours hands-on learning experiences, Joanna focuses her workshop on practical ‘take-away’ skills or activities for immediate use by participants. Rather than focusing on ‘disability’, Joanna focuses on skill enhancement that is equally applicable to all students, not just those identified with additional developmental needs. This makes it easier to integrate engaging but developmentally helpful activities into the home, child care, kindy or school day.
As mother of two, Joanna is a real advocate of regular physical activity, making the most of the resources you have (rather than buying more) but mostly importantly advocates it’s not the toys or resources you have that makes a difference, but the way you use them! In particular, Joanna focuses on maximizing children’s self esteem while enhancing their skill development for ‘life’s skills’.
Under her leadership, Kid Sense won the 2017 Telstra South Australian Small Business Award and Joanna was named a 2007 and 2008 Telstra South Australian Women’s Business Awards Finalist. As a result, she enjoys sharing her experiences of business in speaking engagement also.