Hi, I'm Emma Ratcliff the Founder & Occupational Therapist behind Making Sense NZ
Many years ago I completed my Occupational Therapy degree at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. It was here that I discovered my passion for sensory work and neuroscience, and understanding and working with the whole person, along with the role that Occupational Therapy can have in supporting people to achieve their goals and engage with confidence in their lives.
I moved to Christchurch in 2001 where I worked in a holistic medical practice alongside Occupational Therapists Robyn Ritchie and Julie Frew, specialising in working with children with Dyspraxia and Sensory Integration difficulties. It was here that I developed my practical skills for bringing together neuroscience and my understanding of brain development, and the importance and role of sensory processing and movement development in learning, social development and engagement in life with self-confidence.
Then came a big move up North
I worked in Christchurch for 12 years, continuing to work in a unique Occupational Therapy team to provide sensory integration work as the foundation for children to be able to engage with their learning, working at the individual's stage of development. During that time I presented at the Dyspraxia Support Group Conferences, and served on the Dyspraxia Support Group Board form 2008 - 2013.
In 2014 I moved to Auckland and took several years off to find my feet. During that time I looked after my friend's two children and enjoyed re-visiting early childhood development first hand. In 2016 I returned to Occupational Therapy work running a private practice in Auckland seeing children, whānau and adults from all over New Zealand to help identify and work with their individual neurodevelopmental needs. I bring a holistic approach to my assessment and therapy approach, always being aware of the individual as a whole being, whose strengths and challenges will interplay in the person's life, and either support or hinder their full engagement in the different areas of their life.
This is my passion
I am passionate about sharing my knowledge of sensory-motor development to support individuals, children, parents and teachers to understand 'how this individual works', and from this, to develop the ability to respond to the child's / individual's needs within the contexts of their lives and what is of importance to them. My work is grounded in the practical approach of helping to provide an environment and activities that support the individual to reach their goals and make a difference in their expression of who they are and what they know. Thanks for having a look around. If what you are reading here resonates with you then do get in touch for a chat to see if I can be of help.