About Us

Occupational Therapy

and specialist Teaching service

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Confident Kids is a unique and specialist early years Occupational Therapy and Teaching service in Surrey and Berkshire, UK.

At Confident Kids - Early Years Occupational Therapy and Specialist Teaching - we specialise in helping young children with motor, sensory, communication and learning difficulties to establish the foundational building blocks they need for the best possible start in life. Our mission is to enable families and professionals, through early intervention and coaching to feel that they have a robust toolkit to support the child and the confidence to prepare for entry into school and beyond.

We have so often spoken with families who have described their challenges in finding OT and education support early on for their children's needs, their frustration at not knowing where to start or how to seek help. Perhaps they have been disappointed by long Occupational Therapy waiting times and short OT bursts or overwhelmed with the complexities of trying to access support systems or in making sense of paperwork. Sometimes a child is accessing some really helpful teaching or therapy provision for a few hours a week but carrying strategies home or to pre-school is proving a challenge.

We believe that quality, targeted OT and teaching intervention, started as early as possible, reaps huge rewards in a child’s development. We provide Occupational Therapy and Specialist Teaching sessions in the child’s own environment - at home, nursery or school - to ensure outcomes are meaningful and new skills are learnt in the context of where the child spends their time. We offer timely OT and EHCP assessments, service continuity and online consultations for our families, so they can receive coaching and advice if needed between their child’s sessions.

Through a family centred early intervention approach, we journey with families and the team around the child to equip them with the tools and confidence they need to help their child grow in confidence, flourish and reach their potential.

 
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Amanda Clifford

COFOUNDER • SPECIALIST PAEDIATRIC OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST

Amanda qualified as an Occupational Therapist in 1995, graduating from Sydney University, Australia. She has been working in paediatrics, specialising in early intervention, for over twenty years in a variety of not-for-profit organisations, educational settings and independent practice both in Australia and in the UK. Amanda has worked extensively with children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), global developmental delays, and physical and neurodevelopmental disabilities including Spina Bifida and Cerebral Palsy, alongside specific learning difficulties and Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD). She has a special interest in working with pre-term and high-risk infants, and alongside her OT work, has enjoyed working as a night-nanny, helping families care for their pre-term newborns, and advise on feed-play-sleep and settling routines .

Amanda has specialised training in Sensory Integrative Therapy, Brazelton NBO, The FINE Program - Bliss for preterm infants, the Therapeutic Listening Program, the Zones of Regulation program for emotional and sensory regulation and communication based programs including Makaton signing, PECS and the Hanen Program. Amanda’s experience has cemented her passion to ensure her approach to all intervention centres around the family. Coaching plays an integral part in her practice, facilitating positive relationships between the child and their carers to achieve the best possible developmental outcomes for the child and positive outcomes for the family as a whole.

Mum to four school-aged children, Amanda loves to explore antique markets and upcycle old furniture, tackle creative projects and see as much of the world in the northern hemisphere as possible.

 
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Sarah Billingham

COFOUNDER • SPECIALIST TEACHER

Sarah qualified as a primary teacher in 2004, from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. She initially worked in mainstream primary education and went on to lead a speech and language centre attached to a mainstream school.  She worked as Assistant Headteacher at a specialist school for children with speech and language disorders for five years.   In 2016 she became manager of an independent, multi professional assessment service for primary aged pupils with developmental delays.

During her career she has taught pupils with a variety of speech, language and associated learning difficulties, including children with high functioning autism.  Additional qualifications include a Masters in Education comprising a Post Graduate Certificate in supporting children with speech, language and communication needs, a Post Graduate Diploma in supporting children with social, emotional and behavioural needs and a dissertation on effective parental engagement. Sarah has undertaken further specialist training in supporting children with developmental delays e.g. Makaton Signing, TEACCH and a National SENCO qualification. Sarah is an experienced trainer and Regional Makaton tutor.

Sarah was a committee member of NAPLIC (National Association of Professionals Supporting Language and Communication Development) for five years.

Sarah is a mum of two young children and enjoys family days out, craft activities and a competitive pub quiz!