OUR HISTORY

 

BTC was established in 1994 after a need for an ECI Therapy Centre was identified and was subsequently established with the support of the Johanniter Orden (the German equivalent of the Order of St. John).

We have, since our inception, developed a pioneering focus with regards to therapy. Over time this focus evolved into a model that implements a child-centred and holistic approach to coaxing each of our little ones towards achieving their full potential.

Our model has moved away from a compartmentalised check-box approach, towards an integrated child-specific approach describing development. The focus is on your child’s ability to become functional while following the ICF Model (explaining the child’s limitations in activities and acknowledging the immediate and broader environmental role players), first within the context of their own disability and then more broadly, in the context of the home, community and society as a whole.

In this model, the various therapies employed become more than mere token remedies. It begins to serve the overall need of your child to manage daily tasks for themselves and to develop a healthy frame of mind and emotional well-being within the context of their circumstances. This model moves away from a competitive, idealised or stereotypical approach, towards a view which sees every child as beloved, valuable and having a productive and valuable role to play in society.

We aim to provide and create a happy, family-orientated environment.

 

VISION AND MISSION

 

BTC endeavours, based on Christian principles, to provide early specialised therapeutic intervention to children with developmental delays or special needs from birth to the age of three to provide:
 
Services:
Holistic therapy services to achieve maximum developmental progress.
Training and counselling for parents and caregivers to enhance their caregiving abilities and to maintain the well-being of families.
 
Support:
Therapeutic services to families from disadvantaged groups, regardless of creed, race or socio-economic backgrounds.
 
Excellence:
To continuously strive to be a Centre of excellence by maintaining the highest professional standards within our interdisciplinary
approach while providing evidence-based therapy.

 

 

THE TEAM

Karin Müller

Karin Müller

Head of Centre

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Veio Mahlangu

Veio Mahlangu

Day Care Assistant

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Suné von Stade

Suné von Stade

Occupational Therapist

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Mehnaaz Karim

Mehnaaz Karim

Speech Therapist

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Hannie Scheffer

Hannie Scheffer

Day Care Nurse

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Janine Van Niekerk

Janine Van Niekerk

Dietician

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Lizl Dennis

Lizl Dennis

Physiotherapist

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Mehnaaz Karim

Mehnaaz Karim

Speech Therapist

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Margot Haüsler

Margot Haüsler

Day Care Nurse

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Hermi Viljoen

Hermi Viljoen

Music Therapist

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Taryn Camden-Smith

Taryn Camden-Smith

Physiotherapist

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Patricia Ngcobo

Patricia Ngcobo

Day Care Assistant

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Heléne Crafford

Heléne Crafford

Occupational Therapist

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Martelize Gropp

Martelize Gropp

Speech Therapist

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Karin is an experienced Occupational Therapist who qualified in 1978 from the University of Pretoria. Her interest and expertise have always been in the field of paediatrics. Throughout her career, Karin has worked extensively with most types of special needs/disabilities. She has also been involved in student training at the University of Pretoria.

During her many years in private practice, Karin has been exposed to multi-disciplinary work, management and the general running and maintenance of a practice. She also has extensive experience in the handling, education and counselling of the parents/families of the children she has treated.

Hannie started her nursing career with the completion of her basic nursing training at JG Strijdom Hospital in 1980, followed by Midwifery at Mowbray Maternity Hospital, Cape Town in 1982. In 1984 Hannie returned to Pretoria to study Community Health Nursing at the Pretoria Technicon. She completed her B.Cur degree at the University of Pretoria and obtained a Primary Health Care Diploma at Kalafong/University of Pretoria, both during 1988. Interspersed were stings at the Department of Health doing Family Planning, Occupational Health at the Hyperama and finally worked for 28 years at the City of Tshwane as a Primary Health Care Nurse involved with chronic health, HIV, immunization, acute illnesses, PMTCT, mother and child wellness and antenatal care. She is involved with CANSA doing screenings and also works from home as a Foot Health Practitioner. Hannie joined the BTC Day Care team in March 2019.

Margot completed her training as a General Nurse, Midwife, Psychiatric Nurse and Community Health Nurse in Pretoria, Gauteng. On completion of her training, she started her career in a private care for three years followed by a year working in a hospital in Beru, Switzerland.

In 1979 Margot started her career as a Community Health Nurse in Klerksdorp where she worked for two years. She then went on to serve the community for thirty-four years working as a nurse for the City of Tshwane.

On retirement, Margot started doing contract work for CANSA as well as working for BTC on a part-time basis.

Patricia started working at Chrysalis Preschool (a school for special needs children from three to twelve years old) as a Facilitator in 2009. During that year she completed the HAMBISELA course that teaches positioning, feeding, massaging and exercising children with Cerebral Palsy. Patricia joined the BTC Day Care team in October 2010. She completed courses in PEG- and MIC-Key tube feeding and the maintenance of the MIC-Key tube in 2015. During 2017 she also completed the Tiny Handz course that teaches South African sign language to parents, caregivers and therapists who are involved with the care of toddlers and young children within the special needs spectrum. She is also CPR/First Aid trained and completed a Fire Fighting course. Patricia’s experience and knowledge in caring for and handling special needs babies expands daily by working closely with the therapists and her fellow Day Care staff.

Veio worked as a Facilitator for a family with Cerebral Palsy child from 2004 to 2006. Taking care of the child entailed accompanying him to hospital, taking care of his MIC-Key feeding tube, NUB Oxygen and applying regular brain-gym massaging. Veio started working at BTC in January 2007 as a Day Care Assistant. During 2009 she completed the HAMBISELA course that teaches positioning, feeding, massaging and exercising children with Cerebral Palsy. She completed her training in caring and handling MIC-Key feeding tubes, PEG feeding tubes and Naso-gastric tubes. During 2017 Veio also completed the Tiny Handz courses which teaches South African sign language to parents, caregivers and therapists involved with toddlers and young children within the special needs spectrum. She is also trained in CPR and has attended a First Aid course. Veio’s experience in handling and caring from children with special needs broadens daily by working closely with the BTC therapist and her fellow Day Care staff.

Janine obtained her Dietetics degree (Cum Laude) from the North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus in 2004. After working for a few years in Leratong and Kalafong Hospital as a community service and junior dietician, she started her private practice in 2008 with a special interest in paediatric nutrition. She currently consults at BTC as well as the Pretoria Centre for Cerebral Palsy (PCCP) at Life Groenkloof Hospital. Janine has also been involved as an external marker and e-Tutor for the past ten years at Unisa’s Department of Life and Consumer Sciences and has completed the eighteen-hour UNICEF breastfeeding course.

Hermi completed her BMus Degree at the University of Pretoria in 2013; specialising in flute, music education and Music Therapy. Thereafter she completed her Masters Degree in Music Therapy at the University of Pretoria. In partial fulfillment for the Masters Degree in Music Therapy, she completed a 1000 hours of clinical internships at various institutions such as Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital, Mohau Centre for Children Affected by HIV/AIDS, Unica School for Autism, Little Eden Rota Village, Eersterust Welfare Organisation for the Aged, and the Paediatric Oncology unit at Steve Biko Academic Hospital. Currently, Hermi runs music therapy groups for young offenders at the Teddy Bear Clinic for abused children and group music therapy at Boys and Girls Town for youth at risk. She also has her own practice in Faerie Glen and Centurion in Pretoria. She teaches private flute and piano lessons part-time in Silver Lakes and performs as often as possible.

Heléne completed her B. Occupational Therapy at the University of Stellenbosch in 2009 after which she finalized her training with her community service year at the Embhuleni Hospital near Badplaas in Mpumalanga. On moving back to Pretoria in 2011 she practised privately for eighteen months with a focus on children. In 2012 she started at the Pretoria School for Learners with Cerebral Palsy (CP) where her main focus was on the Gr RR to Gr 1 groups who had a variety of physical and mental disabilities. In 2014 she completed the first three modules of the Sensory Integration Course, and have attended a variety of different one-day courses regarding paediatric occupational therapy. She has eight years of working experience in die paediatric field and enjoys working with children with special needs.

Suné obtained her Bachelors in Occupational Therapy in 2015 from the University of Pretoria. She completed her community service at Tembisa Provincial Tertiary Hospital after which she stayed on as a production level Occupational Therapist for two years. Sune’ has completed the introductory Cerebral Palsy assessment and treatment course presented by SANDTA as well a course in the neurodevelopmental supportive care of the pre-term infant.

Lizl qualified from Stellenbosch University in 1999 with a B.Sc. Physiotherapy degree. She worked in England from 2000-2006, mostly in the field of Adult Neurology in various settings in the National Health Service (NHS) – hospital and community-based. She returned to South Africa at the end of 2006 and started working in Paediatric Neurology, with a specific interest in ECI. Lizl is NDT trained and has completed her Advanced NDT certification in the early detection and treatment of cerebral motor disturbances in babies. She is certified in Prechtl’s Method on the Qualitative Assessment of General Movements in preterm, term and young infants (GMA) which is used for early detection of neurological anomalies and developmental deficits in later life. Lizl enjoys working in a multidisciplinary setting and is passionate about equipping parents to understand and participate in their baby’s development to allow babies to flourish to their full potential.

Taryn qualified from the University of Witwatersrand with a B.Sc. Physiotherapy degree in 2013. She has since completed the Paediatric Neuro-developmental Therapy (NDT) course and is currently studying towards her Master’s degree in Public Health with a specific focus on child and maternal health.

Martelize Gropp qualified as a Speech Therapist and Audiologist at the University of Pretoria in 2011 and obtained a Master’s degree in AAC (Augmentative and Alternative Communication) at the AAC department at the University of Pretoria in 2015. She worked for the Gauteng Department of Health for four and a half years and has a passion for neurology, paediatric dysphagia (feeding difficulties), the developing brain and the role players within this field. Martelize is also VitalStim trained and has completed numerous courses in paediatric dysphagia.

Mehnaaz qualified with a B.Communication Pathology: Speech, Language Therapy and Audiology degree from the University of Pretoria in 2006. She worked for the Gauteng Department of Health for eight years before joining the BTC team in 2015. Mehnaaz has a special interest in babies and young children with feeding, vision and neurological impairments. She has completed the Pediatric Neuro-Developmental (NDT) course as well as the advanced baby NDT course. Mehnaaz is certified in Newborn Behavior Observations (NBO) and has completed the PROMPT-course up to the bridging level. She is also Tiny Handz trained and is currently studying towards an MSc Med Child Health: Neurodevelopment Masters at the University of Witwatersrand.

Mehnaaz qualified with a B.Communication Pathology: Speech, Language Therapy and Audiology degree from the University of Pretoria in 2006. She worked for the Gauteng Department of Health for eight years before joining the BTC team in 2015. Mehnaaz has a special interest in babies and young children with feeding, vision and neurological impairments. She has completed the Pediatric Neuro-Developmental (NDT) course as well as the advanced baby NDT course. Mehnaaz is certified in Newborn Behavior Observations (NBO) and has completed the PROMPT-course up to the bridging level. She is also Tiny Handz trained and is currently studying towards an MSc Med Child Health: Neurodevelopment Masters at the University of Witwatersrand.