About Us

Sarah Lovett – Founder & Principal Social Worker

My name is Sarah Lovett, and I am an Accredited Social Worker, specialising in supporting children with PDA and their families. I have a Masters in social work, and undergraduate degrees in paramedicine, and leisure and health. My knowledge and skills are coupled with my lived experience of being a proud autistic woman with a PDA profile, and parenting my 9yr old boy/girl twins, both of whom are awesome autistic PDAers.

Whilst no amount of training can teach you what daily support of a PDA child is like, aside from my tertiary studies and lived experience, I have completed several PDA specific education courses by leaders in this field including the PDA Society UK, Kristy Forbes, Casey Ehlrich, and Bobbi Cook. I have also completed a systematic literature review at the University of South Australia entitled, ‘Pathological/Extreme Demand Avoidance through an Australian social work lens: a review of current literature and future research’.

I understand the confusing looks you get when trying to explain PDA to other parents, teachers, and health professionals. I understand what it is like to not be believed. I understand the difficulties in navigating the education system. I have experienced the ongoing advocacy required to ensure my children’s voices and needs are heard.

My passion is to support families raising children with PDA to thrive, not just survive. This is achieved through understanding, lived experience, education, and support, all underpinned by trauma informed practice.

My focus is to educate parents and carers on PDA, listen to your experiences with your child, and work together to assist you in advocating for their needs. It is about giving the child their voice back. It is about inclusion and acceptance, and the celebrating of diversity, not labelling difference.

As a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), I adhere to the AASW Code of Conduct and maintain a current Working with Children and Vulnerable Person checks and Safe Environments for Children and Young People certification.

Alice Davis – Social Worker

My name is Alice Davis and I am a Social Worker, specialising in supporting families. I have a Masters in Social Work, and an undergraduate degree in International Studies and Arts. My work experience has focused on supporting the safety, wellbeing and development of children, young people and families. I have worked in organisations advocating for the rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families, in youth alcohol and other drug (AOD) rehabilitation, child and family safety, family and domestic violence and parenting. 

I am a mother to two girls, aged 5 and 2 years old; my eldest daughter is an awesome autistic PDAer. Like many parents of autistic children, researching my daughter’s neurodivergence led me to discover my own and I am now proudly confirmed as an Autistic ADHDer with a PDA profile.  

Parenting a PDA child can be very isolating and uncertain. When we adopted a PDA-friendly parenting style we saw amazing changes for our daughter and our family, but I was even more relieved when I connected with Sarah at Our PDA Kids. Finally, someone understood our experience and had incredible knowledge and support to share. I am so grateful for the opportunity to offer this support to other families and am excited to meet families with diverse experiences but one commonality – the PDA experience.  

I am an accredited facilitator for Circle of Security Parenting and Bringing Up Great Kids and have completed PDA training with Our PDA Kids, Kristy Forbes and Casey Ehlrich. 

As a member of the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), I adhere to the AASW Code of Conduct and maintain a current Working with Children and Vulnerable Person checks and Safe Environments for Children and Young People certification. 

Belinda Marsh – Rehabilitation Counsellor

Hi, I’m Belinda and I am a Rehabilitation Counsellor with full membership with the Australian Society of Rehabilitation Counsellors (ASORC). I have a Graduate Diploma in Rehabilitation Counselling and Undergraduate qualifications in Leisure and Health (Diversional Therapy). In addition to my therapeutic background, I have skills and qualifications in leadership, assessment, auditing, training, productivity, wellbeing and resilience. 

My most recent work history includes a decade working in various roles in the National Disability Insurance Agency.  Prior to that I worked in Service Development and quality roles, Case Management at not-for-profit organisations across aged care and disability sectors and Post School Options services supporting school leavers with training opportunities for employment.

I have varied lived experience of disability and through these experiences seek to assist others with not only individual supports but also systemic change, continuous improvement and advocacy. My passion is wanting to show others how unique they are, what they can learn and contribute, and how they can embrace curiosity, awareness, ‘ah-ha’ moments and acceptance.

As a member of the Australian Society of Rehabilitation Counsellors (ASORC), I adhere to the ASORC Code of Ethics and also maintain a current National Police Check, Working with Children and Vulnerable Person checks, Aged Care Sector Employment Screening and Safe Environments for Children and Young People certification.

Nat Lippiatt – Therapy Assistant (Level 2)

Hi, I’m Nat, a dedicated parent of three amazing teenagers. My journey through parenthood has been filled with unique challenges and incredible growth, as my family navigates the intricate world of neurodiversity.

Within our family, I embrace the beautiful diversity of neurodivergent profiles. My twin boys, in particular, present with distinctive neurodivergent characteristics, including one twin, a talented autistic PDAer. Additionally, my daughter faces her own set of challenges related to anxiety. These experiences have given me invaluable insights into the world of parenting and advocating for neurodivergent children.

Our journey has not been without its trials, especially when it came to supporting my son at home and in the school environment. I tirelessly sought guidance from various health professionals, and it was during this time that I discovered the concept of PDA. This revelation transformed the way I approached parenting, leading me to adapt strategies to better suit my son’s needs.

In addition to my personal experiences, I am deeply passionate about women’s empowerment. To me, it means fostering self-worth, enabling parents to make choices that resonate with their true selves, and championing their rights for both themselves and their children. 

Sarah Hay – Administrative Support

I’m Sarah Hay, mum to two exuberant, curious, and amazing autistic boys. The eldest of my boys (7 years old) is an autistic PDAer and I’ve recently discovered my 4-year old’s own autistic/ADHD characteristics. After years in the realm of online marketing and advertising, I had my first son at the age of 41. The first twelve months weren’t without challenges, and I went in search of answers. I dove deep into autism and early intervention and consulted with a myriad of specialists, exhausting myself in the process as little seemed to really help my son. When I finally discovered PDA, it was a light-bulb moment. What relief at knowing I wasn’t alone and that other families were experiencing the same things I was. So began my education in the world of PDA. I consulted with Our PDA Kids; I have completed courses by Kristy Forbes and Casey Ehlrich, as well as the parent-led Relationship Development Intervention (RDI). I have discovered tools and approaches which have helped to effectively support my sons’ needs and helped my family to manage the roller-coaster highs and lows of daily PDA life. I have also discovered my own neurodivergence through this process. 

I am now working to complete a Master of Social Work to share my lived experience to support other parents and children – helping them to grow through education and understanding and to transform their paradigm of thinking, empowering a supportive parenting model that meets the needs of their child in each moment.