Hi there – this is the “meet Bunty McDougall page!” Thanks for popping by to meet me.
My name is Bunty – yes, it is my real name – I’m not sure what my mother was thinking! I married into the McDougall part of it and will forever be glad to be part of their family (along with their bad handwriting!)
I am an occupational therapist who has worked in the field of learning difficulties for close to 30 years. I graduated way back from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and have remained connected to them ever since. I subsequently became qualified in Sensory Integration (SI), and Neuro-developmental Therapy (NDT). In my early years as an occupational therapist, I worked at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital which I loved and remember with deep affection. I then moved on to Vista Nova School where I first really got to grips with how learning challenges affect children in the classroom. From there I moved to working in Private Practice, focusing on children with motor and learning difficulties. During the long mid-year break for the Soccer World Cup in 2010 , The Happy Handwriter’s first book was published. At the end of 2010, I took a break from active individual treatment to focus on the development of further resources for handwriting skills. I have continued to run classroom based fine motor groups across the spectrum of schools, including previously disadvantaged schools.
Handwriting has always been one of my passions and I did my final year dissertation at UCT on handwriting. I hope that it has long since been lost – I knew very little in those days! A deep and sincere thank you to my then supervisor, Marie Penberthy, who set me on this path.
I am well known for my dynamic and practical parent and teacher workshops on various topics related to learning difficulties. I am a part-time lecturer at UCT and have written a text book, The Wall, which accompanies my module on learning difficulties in children. I have also lectured for the South African Institute for Sensory Integration treatment courses for occupational therapists, the Institute of Private Practitioners courses for pre-school teachers, run workshops for therapists under the auspices of the Occupational Therapy Association of South Africa (OTASA) and have presented at international Sensory Integration and Neuro-developmental therapy congresses. I have worked on the development of pre-school programmes to facilitate school readiness skills to assist in limiting the need for specialist intervention. More recently I had the privilege of developing a pilot programme for the Department of Social Development for implementation in an AIDS orphanage in Cape Town.
I am married to Mike who always walks beside me, and we have two wonderful children. Thomas is the master of good humour and fine conversation, while Hannah is my partner in crime! My family really is the light of my life. I love feeling the wind on my face, laughing until my tummy aches, and become ridiculously excited about each new step in the evolution of The Happy Handwriter.
In addition to OT, I studied the Education of the Gifted Child through UNISA and have worked on the establishment of programmes for gifted and talented children in various schools. I am registered with the Health Professionals Council of South Africa (HPCSA); the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT), the Occupational Therapy Association of South Africa (OTASA); the South African Institute of Sensory Integration (SAISI); the South African Neuro-Developmental Therapy Association; the Institute of Private Practitioners (INSTOPP); the Southern African Association of Learning and Educational Difficulties (SAALED) and the Western Cape Paediatric Practitioners Group (WCPPG.)
And that is enough about Bunty McDougall – I would love you to pop over to some of my other pages!