Sarah Timmel - Photograph

Sarah Zaknich (nee Timmel)

Sarah has been working as a speech pathologist since 2009 and has been working at Sensory Connections since 2013.  She has experience in literacy and phonological awareness, classroom based management and funding applications, bilingualism, language and speech sound disorders, and her main passion - autism spectrum disorders. She is qualified to  complete diagnostic assessments for Autism Spectrum Disorder as part of the diagnostic team.

Sarah is driven to apply her skills in speech pathology within a developmental relationship-based model in her work with families and children.  She  has a keen interest is supporting children in peer interactions. Throughout her career Sarah has closely worked with OT's and is experienced in supporting children with sensory and emotional regulation and attentional challenges.

Sarah has passed through the interdisciplinary training levels with Profectum and has been specially selected to undertake the trainers certificate program.   She brings many different tools in her therapy sessions from her participation in many trainings in addition to Floortime included Hanen,  Social Thinking, Prompt,  Infant Mental Health, and SOS Mealtimes.


Naomi Liel

Naomi  joined our Sensory Connections team in early 2015.  She has worked in both Australia and Israel in multidisciplinary team settings, in child development centres, day care's and schools as well in a private therapy practice.    In addition to obtaining her Degree in Speech Therapy and Audiology ( 2012) Naomi has completed her Master's Degree ( 2017) specialising in bilingual language development and impairment. She enjoys complimenting her clinical work with teaching and involvement in research.

Naomi is able to work with children with autism, global developmental delays, language delays and impairments, speech-sound disorders and dysfluency( stuttering).   She is able to provide the following services:

  1. Speech and language screening
  2. Comprehensive speech, language and fluency assessments
  3. Individual Speech and Language Pathology intervention sessions
  4. Peer sessions.

Naomi  has a broad range of skills and experiences that she brings into her work with children and families to strengthen language, communication and social emotional skills.   She has been trained and mentored in DIR/Floortime, is a trained Hanen ‘It Takes Two to Talk’ program  certified provider, PROMPT therapist, and Lidcombe program clinician ( for stuttering . Naomi has worked with children using augmentative and alternative communication devices and helped integrate their use into home and school programs.

Naomi works with Sensory Connections on Monday , Wednesday and Saturday



Libby Danckert

Libby is an experienced speech pathologist and primary school teacher. In the past 10 years as a speech pathologist she has worked with children and their families at a Language Development Centre, and with children with a range of disabilities.  She spent her early teaching days working up north in Western Australia and in country NSW.  Libby has helped families and educators support children to develop early language and communication skills, give targeted literacy support, promote rewarding social interactions, provide voice therapy and implement safe swallowing strategies. She has worked with children using augmentative and alternative communication devices and helped integrate their use into home routines and literacy programs. She is a trained Hanen and PROMPT therapist. and has undertaken training in the DIR/Floortime  approach.

Libby has a passion for helping children to develop literacy through rich oral language experiences. She works closely with parents and her past relationship with schools gives her a special interest in liaising and supporting children in the classroom.


Laura harding

Laura Vickery ( nee Harding )

Laura graduated from Curtin University in 2009  and has been with us at Sensory Connections since 2017. She has a passion for working with children with developmental delays and disabilities, with a special interest in those on the Autism Spectrum. Her experience as a speech pathologist spans across many settings and communities, including rural and remote areas of Australia.

She is particularly interested in strengthening early communication and social skills as the foundation for strong language development, thinking and meaningful relationships. Laura is dedicated to working with families from a developmental and relationship based approach to support their child’s development. She especially enjoys building skills and confidence through natural social interactions, play and functional routines.

Laura draws upon a wide range of approaches and therapy techniques in her therapy. She has undertaken training and mentoring in the DIR/Floortime  and Social Thinking approaches and is a certified provider of the Hanen ‘It Takes Two to Talk’ program and PROMPT trained therapist (Introductory Level). Laura also has training in and experience helping families to use Alternative and Augmentative Communication (AAC) such as Key Word Sign, visual supports, picture-based communication and communication devices. She also has experience advocating for people with disability to enhance access and inclusion in their local community through working with local government.

Recently Laura has co-facilitated our SELF parent program as well as our peer programs and as such has great experience in using a multidisciplinary approach in her work.

Laura will be on maternity leave from June 2020 and is expected to return to work mid 2021.