PhysioKids has the long-term focus of early identification and intervention of any developmental difficulties a child may be experiencing. Assisting infants, children and adolescents with movement difficulties, coordination problems or developmental delays achieve their highest potential is the primary focus and passion of this practice.

Our Team

Shane Brassell

For as long as I can remember I wanted to be a physiotherapist. I went to physio as a child and thought, “how cool to help people and they have fun doing it!” I now find myself a qualified physiotherapist with a MSc Medicine in Child Neuro-developmental Health. I have been working in the field of paediatric development for more than 13 years. I am passionate about working with children and assisting them to realise their fullest potential. I love learning and incorporate many different aspects in my approach to assessing and treating children, namely M.A.E.S Therapy and General Movements Assessment.

Sarah Smythe

I became a physiotherapist to help people reach their full potential, bringing a sparkle of hope and fun along the way. I graduated from UCT in 2009 and having always loved kids, I specialised further with NDT in 2012 and M.A.E.S Therapy in 2019. It is always a privilege when a child allows you into their world; to journey with them, helping them through difficulties and to be there to celebrate their successes. 


Physiotherapy can assist with mild to more severe difficulties. Most children develop in a typical manner. When they move or play, they automatically develop their senses and motor skills. However, some children experience developmental delay or their development follows a different trajectory. These children may require additional assistance to guide their development towards a more typical path.

More information on the type of conditions treated at this practice can be found here.


Rett Syndrome

I recently had the opportunity to assist Rett SA ( with their Cape Town based clinics for families who have children with Rett Syndrome. Assisting on the clinic, with other health care professionals (neurologist, OT, SLT and dietician), was an incredible way to learn more about this rare disorder.

Rett syndrome is a rare neurodevelopmental disorder caused by a mutation in the MECP2 gene. This mutation is mostly spontaneous and occurs most commonly in girls. The MECP2 gene plays a vital role in the maturation of the developing brain. A child with Rett syndrome will develop normally the first 6-18 months of life. Development will then cease and regression will occur with the loss of acquired skills.

Jana Marais with her dad, Juan and mom, Katja.

Physiotherapy can assist families with supporting development and I have found in treating children with Rett Syndrome, that M.A.E.S Therapy, which approaches treatment from a child’s perspective in terms of what they find difficult at a brain level, is particularly beneficial to understanding these children and supporting them with the developmental potential that they do have.

It was such an honor and a pleasure meeting families from all over the Western and Eastern Cape who had come to join the clinic. It was stimulating to work with different families who have such a variety of questions, concerns and needs. But most of all it was incredible to be surrounded by such love that everyone had for these special girls. I am looking forward to the next clinic in March 2024!

Prevalence of Disability in HIV-Infected Children Attending an Urban Paediatric HIV Clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa

This is an article I wrote and was published as a requirement of my MSc Med in Child Health. The full article can be found here. Prevalence of Disability in HIV-Infected Children Attending an Urban Paediatric HIV Clinic in Johannesburg, South Africa. Abstract With the success of evolving cART, HIV has become a chronic condition, …

What is Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)?

Developmental coordination disorder (DCD) what it says it is… a disorder of the development of coordination. There have been many definitions between the scientific and clinical communities which are discussed in depth and at length! However I like to think of DCD as a deficit in coordination, resulting in delays and difficulties with motor skill …


Shane Brassell & Sarah Smythe

41 Herschel Road, Claremont, Cape Town

079 337 7593