Heidi has always loved communication and her early interest in this field started with speech and drama where she won the Vincent Primary School trophy for Public Speaking at the age of 7 years. She has always had an interest in medicine and one way for her to combine her interests was to complete a degree in Speech Therapy and Audiology at the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Heidi then spent the next 5 years working as both a speech-language therapist and audiologist before spending 5 years working as a speech-language therapist in the Netherlands, where she ran her own practice.
On her return to South Africa, Heidi spent a few years raising her two sons and acquiring further experience in the field of Audiology. It was during this time that her interest in Auditory Processing started. She developed a special interest in this area and has travelled extensively to international conferences to develop her knowledge and expertise in this area, especially on how it pertains to communication and hearing loss in all ages.
Together with her husband, Mike, a chartered accountant and businessman, they developed the Reconnect Lifestyle Brand in 2005 and today there are three hearing and speech-language therapy practices in the greater Durban area, which focus on all areas of hearing health, balance and communication.
Heidi’s audiology practice has developed and maintained school hearing screening programmes in more than 30 schools across Kwa-Zulu Natal and the speech-language therapy arm provides services in several of the prestigious private schools in the area. The practice is involved in training programmes for parents, teachers and allied health professionals.
Heidi strongly believes in a holistic approach, acknowledging that hearing and communication difficulties do not stand alone, but have significant impact on relationships, mood, health, academic and work advancement, as well as emotional and social well-being. She works within a team approach in the assessment and management of communication and balance disorders and works closely with various other disciplines. She believes in the critical role of family and significant others in the management of communication difficulties, and also the importance that the correct information plays in making informed decisions.
When she is not consulting in the practice, Heidi enjoys combining her love of travel with attendance at various professional conferences around the world. She is a keen reader and has developed a culture of reading for pleasure within the practice. Occasionally, her forays into the kitchen to bake are shared with the team.
Heidi has held positions in the South African Speech-Language-Hearing Association, both locally and nationally and is a member of the South African Audiology Association, American Academy of Audiology, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and the International Guild of Auditory Processing Specialists.