Our Team - Eatability Feeding Services

Our Team

Rachael McInerney – Director & Senior Speech Pathologist

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Applied Science – Speech Pathology (Flinders University)
  • Member of Speech Pathology Australia (Certified Practising Speech Pathologist)

Our Director Rachael McInerney has worked as a Paediatric Speech Pathologist for 18 years. Rachael specialises in paediatric feeding difficulties, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and early speech/language development. Rachael has worked in clinic and community settings in South Australia and Broken Hill.

Rachael’s experience includes extensive work within interdisciplinary, trans-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary teams focusing on child development, rehabilitation and disability services from childhood to adolescence. Rachael has experience working with children with disabilities, medical and learning diagnoses including Cerebral Palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, developmental delay, Down Syndrome, G-tubes, Gastroesophageal Reflux, Oromotor delays, low muscle tone and sensory difficulties. Rachael also has experience working with adults with communication and feeding difficulties.

Rachael held a position as a Research Officer for 3 years and published papers on the ‘Participation Profiles of Children with Complex Communication Needs’ (nee Rachael Virgo) under the leadership of Parimala Raghavendra (Associate Professor, Flinders University).

Rachael has presented at conferences nationally including AGOSCI and the Australasian Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine (AusACPDM). She has provided extensive support and training to children, family, childcare and education staff in the areas of feeding (eg SOS, SOS Food Science, Oral Eating & Drinking Support Workshops, individualized plans for mealtimes/feeding), Augmentative and Alternative Communication (eg Key Word Sign, PODD, Proloquo2go, communication strategies), communication and speech/language (eg Hanen ITTT2, Hanen More Than Words).

Rachael travelled to America in May 2017 to undertake intensive work shadowing at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the STAR Institute in Denver. Rachael work shadowed internationally recognised Paediatric Feeding Experts Karen Quinn-Shea (co-developed the Tube Weaning Program at Seattle Children’s Hospital), Robin Glass (Author “Feeding & Swallowing Disorders in Infancy”) & Dr Kay Toomey (Founder SOS Approach to Feeding).

Rachael has continuously sought additional training to improve the support she can provide to families/children. This has included:

  • The SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding: When Children Won’t Eat: Picky Eaters vs Problem Feeders (Dr Kay Toomey)
  • Food Scientist Adaptation of the SOS Approach to Feeding (Dr Kay Toomey)
  • Feeding the Child on the Autism Spectrum (Dr Kay Toomey)
  • Helping Children Transition off Supplemental Tube Feedings (Dr Kay Toomey)
  • Managing Paediatric Feeding Difficulties (Dr Pamela Dodrill and Dr Jeanne Marshall),
  • Feeding Relationship & Eating Competence (Ellyn Satter)
  • Feeding the Child on the Autism Spectrum (Dr Kay Toomey)
  • Food Tolerance Decision Making (Dr Kay Toomey)
  • The Traffic Jam in My Brain: A Sensory Processing Approach to Challenges Associated with Autism, ADHD, ADD, Learning and Behavioural Differneces (Gen Jereb)
  • A series of topical issues in paediatric dysphagia: Fussy eating; chewing strategies; baby led weaning and medication administration (Dr. Julie Cichero)
  • Paediatric Videofluoroscopy Workshop: Conducting and Interpreting Videofluoroscopic Swallow Studies in Children (Kelly Weir)
  • Cervical Auscultation in Dysphagia Management: A practical workshop for speech pathologists working with adult and paediatric dysphagia (Dr Julie Cichero)
  • Dysphagia Disorder Survey/Dysphagia Management Staging Scale (Dr Justine Joan Sheppard)
  • Choking Risk Assessment (CRA) and Pneumonia Risk Assessment (PRA) (Dr Justine Joan Sheppard)
  • Oral Eating and Drinking Support (OEDS) Trainer for childcare/education staff
  • Food Tolerance Decision Making (Dr Kay Toomey)
  • Key Word Sign Australia (KWS) Certified Trainer
  • Pragmatically Organised Dynamic Display (PODD) 2 day introductory workshop
  • Hanen It Takes Two To Talk(for children 5 years or younger)
  • Hanen More Than Words(for parents of children 5 years or younger on the autism spectrum and with other social communication difficulties)
  • Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets (PROMPT) (Ainsley Poulis).

Rachael’s passion for assisting children with feeding difficulties led to the development of a specialised feeding clinic in Adelaide to support children and families with eating/drinking, feeding and mealtimes.

Samantha Griffiths – Speech Pathologist

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Heath Sciences (La Trobe University)
  • Master of Speech Pathology (La Trobe University)
  • Member of Speech Pathology Australia (Certified Practising Speech Pathologist)

Samantha completed her Master of Speech Pathology at La Trobe University in 2017. Sam has a strong interest in paediatric feeding, and early speech/language development. Sam relocated to Adelaide in 2021 to follow her passion for supporting children with feeding challenges. Sam’s experience includes providing Early Childhood Intervention Services to children 0-12 years during her previous employment with Noah’s Ark Inc. in Victoria.

Samantha has engaged in additional training to strengthen her skills. This has included:

  • The SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding: When Children Won’t Eat: Picky Eaters vs Problem Feeders (Dr Kay Toomey).
  • Food Scientist Adaptation of the SOS Approach to Feeding (Dr Kay Toomey)
  • Feeding the Child on the Autism Spectrum (Dr Kay Toomey)
  • The Foundations of Paediatric Feeding and Swallowing through Feed The Peds
  • Multidisciplinary Feeding Workshop through Babble & Munch Speech Pathology
  • Sign Language 1 (AUSLAN) course with VicDeaf
  • Sign Language 2 (AUSLAN) course with VicDeaf

Samantha has also participated in research by gathering data for a randomized-controlled trial investigating “Classroom Promotion of Oral Language”.

Juanita Saldanha – Speech Pathologist

Qualifications:

  • Master of Speech Pathology (Flinders University)
  • Member of Speech Pathology Australia (Certified Practising Speech Pathologist)

Juanita completed her Master of Speech Pathology at Flinders University in 2020. She is passionate about working with children with speech, language, and social communication difficulties. She enjoys establishing and maintaining rapport with her clients and ensuring that her clients are having fun, whilst contributing to their development across therapy. Juanita has a special interest in early intervention and is dedicated to providing holistic and individualised therapy through a client-centred approach.

Juanita travelled to Dubai in 2017 to volunteer at the Al Noor Training Centre. She assisted special educators in providing therapy to school aged students and assisted in providing mealtime/feeding supports. Juanita also volunteers at RSPCA outside of work.

Juanita has engaged in additional training to strengthen her skills. This has included:

  • The SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding: When Children Won’t Eat: Picky Eaters vs Problem Feeders (Dr Kay Toomey).
  • Food Scientist Adaptation of the SOS Approach to Feeding (Dr Kay Toomey)

Tamie Hannessen – Administration Officer

Our Administration Officer Tamie Hannessen joined the Eatability team in December 2019. She worked as an Administration Manager at Radio Rentals for 11 years. Tamie is a mother of three gorgeous children. She loves working with children and seeing everybody’s faces when they walk through the door. Tamie is a jack of all trades – organizing appointments, making resources, answering phone calls, managing finances, and walking our therapy dog.

Tamie said, “When my son was diagnosed with Dyslexia in 2018, my goals as a mother and attitude towards work changed. I wanted to work with a company where their main focus was to understand and help families overcome challenges they were facing on a daily basis. Interacting with Eatability families that come into the clinic and watching children grow is life changing. My goal is to provide a professional and friendly relationship with families as well as staff”.

Millie Moo – Therapy Puppy

Qualifications

  • Friendly, cuddly and gentle.

Our therapy puppy Millie is full of sass, licks and cuddles. She can often be found sleeping on the job. She loves belly rubs, pats on her head and scratches on her back. She is friendly, patient and gentle. She is the best reinforcement for children at the end of their therapy sessions.

Rachael McInnerny Feeding Therapist

Join Our Team

If you would like to be contacted for future available positions, you are welcome to forward to your CV to:

hello@eatabilityfeedingservices.com.au