About the Author
Joanne Ravell is a Speech and Language Pathologist, practicing from Harmony Child Assessment and Therapy Centre in the Upper Highway Area in Durban KZN.
She is a devoted Mom to a 7 year old and a loving stepmom to three children aged, 16, 14 and 8.
Joanne graduated in 2005 and over the last 13 years of practice, has become increasingly passionate about early communication development and aims to be the catalyst in spreading awareness about society's unwitting neglect of auditory development. She feels strongly about the need to increase opportunities for children to listen with minimal visual support, which is vital for pre- literacy development; "Listening is the Zip- line to Literacy".
In 2016, she launched a blog called "Listen with Intent" on Facebook, writing and sharing articles and tips for parents on encouraging listening skills in children.
In 2018, Joanne was asked to consult with the Head Office of "Top Tots Parent and child Workshop" in order to revamp and update the program, pushing to include essential communication skills. She develop the Zippi and Zaza stories for use in the program, using appropriate and valuable themes for children.
In 2011, Joanne joined a Transdisciplinary Team of 5 therapists, who further developed the transdiciplinary method of conducting play- based, tailor made assessments with increased therapist communication as well as interdisciplinary skill swapping (in combined sessions). This encouraged holistic assessment with less of a medical model feel about it.
The Harmony Team moved into a converted home, and ran their therapy centre together from 2017. They continue to practice with the same valued principles. Their vision and methods have led the team to become further involved in early intervention, frequently with young children on the Autism Spectrum.
Harmony Child Assessment and Therapy Centre is based at 3 Uplands drive, Kloof.
Joanne runs the School based speech language program at Whizz Kidz Special Needs Centre (for severely and multiply disabled children), Bunnikins Early Learning Centre and at Happy Valley Special Needs Unit.