Blossom’s Specialists

Blossom is a small team of Specialist level Occupational Therapists all with a minimum of 5 years post graduate experience. We are very lucky to also have the additional expertise of two Specialist Speech and Language Therapists who we are able to complete some joint assessments with. The team has a range of specialities and favourite areas of clinical practice which allows us to cover the various needs of children and their families.

We also have a Therapy Dog that can be used to support some therapeutic intervention’s or assessments where felt to be appropriate. All staff have an Enhanced DBS check that is current as well as Safeguarding training. We are all members of the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) / Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists (RCSLT)

Rachael Gartland

Clinical Director | Specialist Paediatric Occupational Therapist | Sensory Integration Practitioner | Certified Sensory Attachment Therapist

I am the director of Blossom and first started out in independent practice in 2017. Since then, work has been increasing and I have therefore been able to develop a small ‘hand picked’ team of like minded professionals who can follow my work ethic and ensure quality support for children. It is extremely important to me that all of the families and professional that we work with receive the same service regardless of the team member who works with them. I am married and have two children myself so understand the importance of supporting children to achieve their full potential whatever that might be.

I qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 2010 and since then have worked within the field of Paediatrics. I have been passionate about working with children for many years and believe that early intervention is very important. I am very enthusiastic about my work and find that supporting children to achieve daily tasks which others may take for granted to be very satisfying.

Clinical areas of interest:

  • Trauma and attachment
  • Sensory processing
  • Autism, specifically female presentation

Rosie Pole

Specialist Paediatric Occupational Therapist | Sensory Integration Practitioner | Certified Children’s Yoga Teacher

Rosie qualified as Paediatric Occupational Therapist in 2016 and specialises in the field of Paediatrics . As a Occupational Therapist, Rosie specialises in working with children and young people with conditions such as Autism, ADHD, Learning Disabilities and associated Sensory Processing Difficulties. Rosie is passionate about her role and is committed to learning and developing further as a skilled OT. Prior to working in the Paediatric field, Rosie worked with acute medical conditions as part of an Occupational Therapist rehabiliation team. Rosie has a strong personal interest in using yoga for well being and is now a qualified children’s yoga teacher.

Clinical areas of interest:

  • Neurodevelopmental conditions
  • Sensory processing
  • Yoga for well being
ROSIE POLE
JENNY MEYER

Jenny Meyer

Specialist Occupational Therapist | Sensory Integration Practitioner | Specialist Literacy Teacher

Jenny joined team Blossom in January 2022. She has been qualified as an Occupational Therapist since 2010. Since qualifying, Jenny has been working in the field of paediatrics in the community as well as within a specialist school in London for those with additional needs.

Clinical areas of interest:

  • Neurodevelopmental conditions and associated sensory processing
  • Dyslexia
  • Handwriting

Claire Devonport

Specialist Paediatric Occupational Therapist | Post Graduate training in Sensory Integration

Claire qualified as a an Occupational Therapist in 2017 at the University of Northampton. Prior to this she gained a degree in behavioural science. Since becoming an Occupational Therapist, Claire has been working in a range of schools to include specialist SEN and mainstream. Claire has a special interest in postural management including seating and positioning in the classroom for those who have complex medical and postural needs.

She also enjoys working in mainstream classrooms supporting sensory processing alongside motor skills. Claire provides a coaching model of practice to help upskill those living and working with the child as well as direct one to one therapy where necessary.

Clinical areas of interest:

  • Postural management- seating and positioning
  • Motor skills for those with complex physical difficulties
  • Sensory processing
CLAIRE DEVONPORT
MEIKE ILLING-WHITBY

Meike Illing-Whitby

Specialist Paediatric Occupational Therapist | Post Graduate training in Sensory Integration

Meike has worked for 21 years with children, their families and keyworkers across the UK and Germany, She gained a great wealth of expertise assessing and treating children who show difficulties with sensory processing and motor coordination diffiuclties.

Meike is experienced in early intervention and school-based OT (mainstream and special) working with children of all age groups between 0-18 years without any clinical diagnosis, going through a diagnostic process or have a diagnosis such as, ASD (Autism), AD(H)D, Cerebral Palsy, Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) / Dyspraxia, Downs Syndrome, Global Developmental Delay and learning difficulties.

Clinical areas of interest:

  • Postural management
  • Motor coordination
  • Neurodevelopmental conditions

Helen Eales

Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

Helen qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist in 2006, initially she worked within the NHS and more recently as an independent therapist within a small number of special schools in Northamptonshire.

Helen has a specialist interest in working with children and young people with social, emotional and mental health needs (SEMH), including behavioural difficulties, and has just completed her Masters in SEMH. She has a particular interest in attachment and trauma, and the impact of this on the development of communication skills.

Clinical areas of interest:

  • Social, emotional mental health impacting behaviour
  • Trauma and attachment
  • Social communication
HELEN EALES
LIBBY FRATERRIGO

Libby Fraterrigo

Specialist Speech and Language Therapist

Libby qualified in 2012 and has been working in the NHS specialising in Paediatrics. Libby specialises in complex communication needs and is able to support children who are developing their early communication and interaction skills. She also specialises in supporting eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties as well as providing advice for children with avoidant or restrictive eating.

Clinical areas of interest:

  • Complex communication needs
  • Augmentative and Alternative communication (AAC)
  • Eating, drinking and swallowing difficulties

Kerry McNee

Administrator / Office Coordinator

Kerry has recently joined the Blossom team in January 2022. She is a very important member of the team who acts as our ‘front of house’ and the first point of contact to support and sign post our families / professionals. Kerry responds to all initial enquires, organises waiting lists, diary bookings as well as managing the invoicing. Kerry is keen to help anyone and will do her best to advise or answers your questions providing they are not clinical; in which case she will find out the answer for you from one of the therapists. Kerry works part time hours so will respond to emails and phone calls as soon as possible.

KERRY MCNEE
JULIE

JULIE

Senior Occupational Therapy Assistant

Julie is a qualified Nursery Nurse and works for our team as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. Julie has over 25 years experience within this field and enjoys working in schools completing therapy packages with children. Julie works with the Occupational Therapists to ensure she completes suitable therapy packages uses the assessment outcomes.

Clinical areas of interest:

  • Interoception and regulation
  • Motor skill development
  • Small groups

Ella

Specialist SEMH Therapy Dog

Ella is a popular member of our team! She is a qualified therapy dog with additional training in supporting children with Social Emotional Mental Health difficulties. Ella loves meeting new children and particularly enjoys helping those with anxiety to transition into the clinic safely and comfortably. Ella is a Bichon Frise, her breed means that she is hypoallergenic for those with allergies and also has a calm, gentle and loving temperament. Ella will offer support in some of the therapy sessions only where suitable for the child and their specific goals. She will also be available in some assessments to reduce anxiety and aid engagement if this is appropriate.

Interacting with a friendly dog can help many physical and mental health issues. It can help reduce blood pressure and improve overall cardiovascular health. It can also release endorphins that produce a calming effect. This can help alleviate pain, reduce stress, and improve overall psychological state.

Therapy Dog