About Us

Georgina Ahrens

Georgina gained her Bachelor of Applied Science – Occupational Therapy from the University of Sydney in 1996. She has always worked in Paediatrics initially in an early intervention team, working with children with a variety of disabilities. She then pursued further training by traveling to the United States and England. While in America she worked with a leading paediatric occupational therapist, Rosemary White OTR/L.

Under her supervision and the guidance of specialist practitioners she was able to develop her skills initially in the area of Sensory Integration and then the DIR®/Floortime Model. During this time she received extensive training and experience within the fields of Sensory Integration, Auditory Integration and the (Floortime). She has been trained and certified in the Therapeutic Listening Program, The Listening Program, Samonas, The Lift Program and most recently with the Integrated Listening Program (ILS). She has been trained in the Wilbaarger brushing protocol, the Alert Program, Handwriting Without Tears and a variety of other programs during the years. She is a certified trainer through Profectum Academy in the DIR®/Floortime Model and teaches basic courses throughout Australia and Overseas. Georgina is a director of the Keystone School which is a not for profit group working to build Australia’s first DIR School and through this has developed the Keystone Education Module which is used to educate teachers on understanding Individual Profiles and the social emotional needs of the children. Through this they have developed a play based screening tool that they are using in both Preschools and Schools to support the teacher’s in identifying at risk children and how to support them in the classroom.

Georgina returned to Sydney in 2003 and established Kids World to provide these services to the clients within the Sydney metropolitan area. Over the past 14 years Georgina has continued to develop her experiences in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Sensory Integration Dysfunction. She has a passion for working with the children and their families, and feels that she continues to learn as much from them as they from her. In addition to her extensive clinical work Georgina provides professional lectures and parent workshops to share her knowledge with others.

Georgina is married to Chris who made the move with her from the States, and supports and assists her with the practice. She has three beautiful girls; Mollie, Heidi, and Phoebe, who keep her busy in her spare time.

Click here to contact Georgina.

Gloria Gallardo-Walker

Gloria initially received a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Ecology, specifically Child and Adolescent Development, from the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. She went on to become a preschool teacher, teaching at both the East and West side preschools of the University of Illinois in Chicago. Here her interest in working with children with special needs grew, and led her to intern as a Child Life Specialist at Wyler Children’s Hospital in Chicago, Illinois. Gloria received her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Rush University in 1999. Gloria then worked in Early Intervention in Chicago’s low income, Hispanic neighbourhoods for a non-profit multidisciplinary organisation, called ‘El Valor’ which means courage and bravery. Here she worked with young disadvantaged children, co-facilitating Sensory and Feeding groups.

In 2001 Gloria married an Australian and in 2003 moved with him to Australia. She and her husband now have 3 children; 2 girls and a boy in between. Despite the demands of motherhood, Gloria has not stopped learning, through continued education courses in occupational theory, and teaching, from her knowledge base, to preschool teachers in her local area. She has furthered her paediatric learning with play, speech, literacy, writing, assessing, clinical observations, working with young children with autism, and DIR/Floortime courses. Gloria became enraptured by Georgina’s ‘wooing’ skills after attending her DIR/Floortime course. When her third child was old enough to go to preschool, she and Georgina were able to meet again, thus allowing Gloria to join the much-loved group of occupational therapists at Kidsworld Paediatric Occupational Therapy!

In her rare spare moments, Gloria enjoys writing stories and in 2013 was able to publish her first children’s story, entitled, ‘Ka-Lunk!’ It is a rhyming story based on a child’s developmental growth with extra additions at the end of the book for parents/carers to give them play ideas and cue them into children’s general developmental milestones in fine/gross motor, self/help, social/emotional and expressive/receptive verbal/nonverbal language skills from birth to 18 months. For more information check out the following link:  Ka-Lunk!

Gloria is currently working on writing a young adult science fiction novel for and based on her own children.

Click here to contact Gloria.

Cheryl Bladen

Cheryl gained her degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa in 1996. She is passionate about working with children and their families and has been working in the field of paediatrics in private practice since graduating. She has always worked closely with other professionals in multidisciplinary teams and uses a transdisciplinary approach. She has worked in both schools and the clinic setting with children with a wide range of needs and difficulties.

Prior to moving to Australia in 2011, Cheryl’s background was in sensory integration therapy. It was during this time that she felt a growing need to combine her knowledge of individual profiles and differences with a developmental relationship based model to address social and emotional issues. She was excited to find Georgina and her practice in Australia to mentor her in the evidence based DIR®/Floortime model. Cheryl has been trained and mentored by Georgina for the past 5 years in the DIR®/Floortime approach. Cheryl has completed her one year Professional Certification program with the Profectum Academy in the United States in the use of the DIR® model.

Cheryl has a special interest in working with children and their families where the child is presenting with challenging behaviours at home, at school and community settings.

Cheryl has trained in the Therapeutic Listening program and is a qualified provider of

the Therapeutic Listening programme. She is trained in the ALERT programme and the Patricia Wilbarher brushing programme. She is a certified Circle of Security provider.

Cheryl is a member of the Board of the not-for-profit Keystone School, a long-term

initiative to develop Australia’s first primary school for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Under the umbrella of Keystone School, Cheryl and Georgina have developed, in collaboration with other Board members, the Keystone Module. They provide comprehensive professional development and support to teachers who are working in mainstream preschool and primary school classrooms with children who may face academic, sensory processing, regulation, motor planning and/or social challenges that prevent those students from reaching their full educational potential.

Cheryl is married and a mother of three busy children.

Click here to contact Cheryl.

Emma Gill

Emma gained her degree in Speech Pathology and Therapy from Manchester University, England, in 2003. Since graduating, she has worked in a variety of settings including clinics, specialist schools, mainstream schools and hospitals. She has primarily specialised in working with children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder and learning disabilities.

Emma has undertaken postgraduate study in the DIR®/Floortime Model with Profectum and has recently become certified as a DIR® Therapist.  She has also previously undertaken postgraduate study in dysphagia and has attended numerous external courses including TEACCH, PECS, Intensive Interaction and Makaton.

Emma developed a passion for working with children with ASD and learning disabilities through voluntary work as a student, and later through working in a specialist school for children with ASD in the North West of England, where she was responsible for running the Speech and Language Therapy Department within the school and provided speech therapy support for students and their families.

Emma has been working at Kids World Therapy since 2011 and continues to receive regular training, supervision and mentoring to continue to strengthen her skills.

In her spare time Emma enjoys travelling and also volunteers her weekends with her local surf club.  She is also a keen music fan and enjoys attending live music events.

Click here to contact Emma.

Liz Cawrse

Liz completed her Bachelor of Applied Science (Occupational Therapy) from Sydney University in 2002. Since graduating she has always worked in the paediatric field, supporting children with additional needs and their families. She has primarily worked with children with ASD, developmental delay and children who are vision impaired. Supporting them in their homes, early childhood settings, schools and in community clinic based individual and group therapy and transition to school programs. Her work has taken her all over Sydney and to Samoa to facilitate the development of an Early Intervention service for children with disabilities in their villages.

Liz is passionate about family centred practice, looking at the individual needs of children and their parents and supporting them as part of a family. She became aware of the DIR model and after attending a training day with Georgina, started incorporating elements of the model in her work. A few years later Liz was thrilled to join the Kidsworld team in 2011 and loves the challenges and fun every therapy session brings. Through weekly mentoring and supervision she continues to strengthen her skills and knowledge in the DIR/ Floortime approach.

Click here to contact Liz.

Julia Killen

Julia gained her Bachelor of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Sydney in 1996. After graduating she worked as an Occupational Rehabilitation Consultant, advancing to corporate Occupational Health and Safety Management with further studies in Safety Science, and more recently pursued her longstanding interest of working in Paediatrics. Julia has been a member of Occupational Therapy Australia since 2012, and is a member of AHPRA.

Julia has always had a keen interest to work with young children and attributes this to undertaking her Occupational Therapy degree. In addition to starting a family and with the enjoyment and rewards of parenting her own children, Julia revisited her career options and decided to pursue her long-term passion of working with children. In 2014 Julia was thrilled to be provided the opportunity to spend a number of days at Kids World and became intent on working within the DIR/Floortime Model.

Julia has been trained and mentored in DIR/Floortime under the supervision and guidance of Georgina, including understanding Individual Profiles and the social emotional needs of children. Within her different work roles Julia has always enjoyed close working relationships with clients and

 other professionals to maximise the outcome for all parties involved. Julia loves working and engaging with children and their families, and considers her role of supporting a child’s development and learning highly rewarding.

Outside of work Julia loves spending time with her children,

William and Isabella, supporting their varying interests, as well as visiting country NSW and the beach with family.

Click here to contact Julia.