The Autism Project

Meet The Team

Get to know us a little better.

Tam Bennett

Director

Tam has extensive training in Autism intervention and education, years of experience on the ground with numerous children with ASD, and hands on experience in a wide variety of settings. She has been involved in the set ups of Autism units around the world, is passionate about advocating for people with Autism on a variety of levels, and has been strategically involved in founding Autism Botswana. She has coauthored the Hands On Autism course and trained numerous educators, parents, and professionals nation wide for Autism; South Africa. The Autism Project was birthed out of a local need for personalized and individualized programs for children with ASD. Tam believes strongly in trans-disciplinary intervention where therapists and practitioners work closely with families to provide a consistent and collaborative programme in all settings. Unlike many purists, Tam does not believe in a one fits all approach to treating Autism. She sees every child as unique and tailors their home and centre based programme to ensure that the child reaches their potential. Tam is committed to both sharing and continuing to extend her knowledge and has collaborated with other key professionals in the field of Autism to design a comprehensive, practical, and invaluable Autism specific training: The Autism Project Course.

Michelle Braithwaite

Senior Practitioner

A part of The Autism Project from it’s inception, Michelle holds a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Psychology (Honours). Her international experience working with children has fueled her passion for working with our special children and keeps Michelle working every day to find unique solutions for the children in her care. Michelle is responsible for managing multiple case teams, providing home and school support, running the weekly LEGO club as well as leading monthly clinic meetings. Michelle’s responsible and diligent nature makes her an invaluable leader of this team.

Jenna Hughes

Operations and Support

Jenna’s role within The Autism Project covers such a plethora of areas, it is almost impossible to give her a title, but we will do our best… Jenna holds a Bachelor of Education in Foundation Phase and is skilled and experienced in working with our special children, however seeing the need in our team, she uses her many other skills to manage the administrative demands of this project, as well as myriad of essential prep work that allows our team to individualise our approach to our children. Jenna is also responsible for communication and relationship management between our team members and clients alike. She is our unicorn.

Lana Challenor

Junior Practitioner

With 20 years of working with children, Lana’s teaching experience, together with her autism specific skills have proved to be a winning combination as a practitioner delivering 1:1 intervention. Lana’s passion for Floortime and child led approaches makes her a champion for each child she works with. Her high energy levels and permanent smile are often exactly what is needed on more challenging days, making her a cherished member of this team by children and team members alike.

Caroline Wolno

Junior Practitioner

Our gentlest, most patient practitioner, Caroline’s studious attention to preparation and detail makes her perfectly suited to working with children on the autism spectrum. She excels at delivering and modifying structured programmes, making the content accessible to each child she works with. Caroline has a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Psychology (Honours) and quietly and intuitively grows her skills in autism-specific strategies every day.

Damini Raghubir

Junior Practitioner

Damini comes in a tiny package but packs a mighty punch with a Bachelor of Social Sciences in Psychology (Honours), training in ABA and several years of autism-specific experience. Damini is well loved by the children she works with for her fun-loving nature, while her calm demeanour creates an excellent platform for 1:1 intervention delivery. She is a phenomenal junior practitioner and an indispensable member of our team.

Gerrisa Santhia

Senior Practitioner

Gerrisa's strong background in psychology and extensive experience in autism has added incredible merit to our team.  Her diligent work ethic and empathetic nature is a winning combination both on the ground with her children, as well as in her role as a leader at The Autism Project.  She is always ready with a smile  (and usually a snack)and has an endless capacity to stick to strategies in the most challenging of situations.  Gerrisa's children's needs and rights are fiercely protected by this quiet but intense young woman.  She joined us in September of 2018 and our team cannot imagine working without her.

Andrea Jefferys

Junior Practitioner

A qualified, lawyer, Andrea’s journey into special needs was unexpected, but has been a gift for our team and the children she works with. Currently completing her Honours in Psychology, Andrea has also further upskilled herself in autism-specific strategies and continues to take every opportunity to further her own development. Her structured and efficient approach to intervention delivery appeals to the children she works with and results in steady progress within her programmes. Andrea’s perseverance in challenging situations combined with the love she has for her children makes her an incredible asset to our team.

Sanam Ramkissoon

Junior Practitioner

Sanam joined our team at the beginning of 2019 and brought with her a strong, steady energy and several years experience working with older children.  She has quickly built rapport with her kids and has embraced the combination approach our team uses.  Her background in psychology and experience with ABA has wonderful value to The Autism Project.  Sanams's unflappability is unmatched and her joining has undoubtedly rounded off our large and diverse team perfectly.