Who We Are

Next Steps Children’s Therapy is a small specialist private practice, based in Crowborough, East Sussex. We specialise in the Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy assessment and treatment of children from pre-school up to young teenagers.

Our therapists continue to hold NHS roles as highly specialist practitioners within paediatrics.

Jane Swann

Jane Swann

I graduated from Kings College London with a degree in Physiotherapy in 2004. I completed rotations in the acute setting including neurology, respiratory, orthopaedics and medical rehabilitation. I also completed rotations in musculoskeletal outpatients and outpatient neurology.

I specialised in paediatrics in 2007 having previously completed a 10-month rotation in that specialism which confirmed my interest and passion to work with children long-term.

I currently hold the title of Highly Specialist Paediatric Physiotherapist within Kent Community Health NHS foundation trust. I have a clinical specialism in Orthotics and Orthopaedics. Gemma Stilliard and I have worked together as colleagues and friends for several years both in clinic and school settings.

During my time with the NHS I have set up and run the Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD) service which, alongside an assessment from a paediatrician, aids in confirming children with a diagnosis of DCD or dyspraxia.

Within the clinics, myself and my Occupational Therapy colleagues use a variety of standardised and non-standardised assessments such as the Movement ABC and Bruininks- Oseretsky scale of motor proficiency, alongside detailed clinical observations.

I am proficient in writing detailed clinical reports and experienced with the EHCP process and in writing the relevant reports and documentation.

Within my clinical practice I have extensive experience in treating children in the early years’ and school years’ age groups. I work within specialist schools, mainstream schools in clinic settings and in client’s homes, and more recently via video calls! I treat a wide range of conditions including cerebral palsy, Retts, spina bifida, global developmental delay, hypermobility, DCD and dyspraxia and a range of musculoskeletal problems.

I run training sessions for schools in the use of schools’ based motor skills programs and teach education staff about how to identify and support children with developmental coordination disorder and allied issues.

Outside work I am a mum of two primary school aged boys and a lover of homes, interiors and gardening, not to mention baking which I try to offset with the occasional run!

Gemma Stilliard

Gemma Stilliard

I graduated from London South Bank University with a Post- Graduate Diploma in Occupational Therapy in 2005. I have completed rotations in Medical, Orthopaedic and elective surgery wards before working with a Community Mental Health Team. In 2007, my fiancé and I travelled the world for a year, and for four of those months, I registered and practised Occupational Therapy in New Zealand. Once I had returned from travelling, I specialised in Paediatrics. Prior to qualifying as an Occupational Therapist, I trained as a Nursery Nurse working in Nurseries and Preschools in London, hence why specialising in Paediatrics was always the dream.

I currently hold the title of Highly Specialist Paediatric Occupational Therapist within Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust. I have a clinical specialism in Paediatric Equipment and Paediatric Manual Handling. Jane Swann and I have worked together as colleagues and friends for several years both in clinic and school settings.

I have been working in paediatric services since 2008, assessing and treating children with complex conditions including: dyspraxia, cerebral palsy, autism, trauma/attachment issues, Rett’s syndrome, muscular dystrophy, Friedreich’s Ataxia and co-ordination difficulties.

My experience covers working in special schools, mainstream schools and clinic-based settings. I am a Bobath trained therapist, and have Sensory Integration Level 1. I have current knowledge of childrens’ equipment including seating, toileting equipment, sleep systems and manual handling equipment, both at home and in schools.

Additionally, I have in-depth experience of the EHCP process and writing the relevant reports for it. I am a Manual Handling adviser and trainer for the NHS trust in which I work, and carry out training and competence assessments for staff.

I have produced presentations, and run various training sessions for schools and parents on sensory needs and practical strategies.

Currently we run assessment clinics and produce reports using standardised tools including MABC, VMI, TVPS and MVPT. A child focused approach is used to get the most out of the assessment session.

Outside of work I am a mum of three active boys, one whom has Special Educational Needs and I am a keen runner, running with the Tunbridge Wells Harriers.

Next Steps Children's Therapy - Jane Swann and Gemma Stilliard