Barkuma is a registered provider of Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) based in Adelaide, South Australia for people aged seven and above who are supported by the NDIS.

Our experienced, registered practitioners support individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability, Psychosocial Disability, and a wide range of other disabilities and are trauma-informed.

Our skilled and qualified team can help you work out what life you want, and plan how to get there.



Positive behaviour support aims to enhance your quality of life by gaining an understanding of you, the people around you, and your environment. It is directed by NDIS Restrictive Practices and Behaviour Support Rules (2018). It aims to protect your rights by reducing and eliminating the use of restrictive practices. The PBS process identifies the function of behaviour, so that the right supports can be put in place so that you can achieve your goals.


PBS is an evidence-based approach to understanding the causes of behaviour and developing proactive and reactive strategies. In accordance with the legislation, within one month of service, behaviours of concern and restrictive practices are identified, and an interim behaviour support plan is developed. Next, an in-depth functional behaviour assessment is completed through interviews, observations, data collection and analysis. A comprehensive plan containing individualised and targeted strategies is developed within 6 months of service. This plan aims to improve quality of life, skill building and alternatives to behaviours of concern, and reduce the use of restrictive practices. Over the following 12 months, the plan is implemented, reviewed, and updated as required.

IMAGE – Two sisters embracing outside by Denis Kuvaiev from Noun Project (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)


  • Collaboration with the client and stakeholders (e.g., guardian and implementing providers) to develop person-centered goals aimed at improving quality of life.
  • Services can be delivered across a variety of settings, including home, schools, workplaces, Barkuma offices, or via telehealth.
  • Interviews, observations, questionnaires and data collection are used to inform the functional behaviour assessment and monitor the effectiveness of the PBS plan.
  • Supports around the person are trained in preventative and reactive strategies for behaviours of concern.
  • Individual positive behaviour support therapy sessions may be used to teach new skills to support behaviour change and increase quality of life.


Amanda Wood

Amanda has been a Social Worker for the past 10 years and is Accredited with the Australian Association of Social Workers. Amanda holds extensive experience in the disability sector having worked and volunteered in various roles for the past 34 years. Amanda has a strong commitment to social justice and is passionate about fundamental human rights and valuing the importance of human relationships. Amanda values and respects participants as experts in their own lives and is committed to enhancing the well-being of others by challenging the structural barriers that contribute to inequality, discrimination, exploitation, and oppression within communities.

Amanda has worked with people across the lifespan providing person-centred, trauma informed, culturally aware interventions. She likes to create a safe and caring environment where her clients feel listened to and heard.

Amanda recognises that everyone is unique and requires tailored support. Amanda strives to work together and with people, their families and supporters and bases intervention on evidence-based approaches endeavouring to practice in a holistic and neuroaffirming manner with a strong focus on empowerment with the goal of improving quality of life.


Jessica Howe

As an Advanced Registered NDIS Practitioner, I am committed to making a positive impact on the lives of people with disability and protecting and upholding human rights. My approach is grounded in empathy and collaboration. I prioritize understanding the unmet needs of the person and ensure that interventions are tailored to their specific circumstances. I hold a PhD in Clinical Psychology and I am passionate about staying up to date with the latest research and integrating it into practice. I am committed to fostering a neurodiversity-affirming and trauma informed approach in my work. I believe in creating a safe and supportive environment where people feel valued, heard, and empowered. I am dedicated to walking along side individuals and their support networks, providing compassionate and effective behaviour support every step of the way.


Kim Leary

Kim has over 17 years’ experience working in the special education sector supporting individuals with complex and diverse needs, including those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), developmental delays, and behavioural challenges. Kim believes that everyone is unique, with their own strengths, challenges, and aspirations and prioritises building strong relationships with clients, actively listening to their needs, and tailoring interventions accordingly.

Collaboration is at the heart of Kim’s practice. She works closely with families, educators, therapists, and other professionals for shared insights, joint problem-solving, and coordinated efforts; recognising that a collaborative approach leads to better outcomes. Kim is passionate about innovative approaches to social skill development. As a Lego-Based Therapy Facilitator, Kim harnesses the power of LEGO activities to promote social interaction, turn-taking, collaboration, and problem-solving. Kim believes that positive behaviour support is not just about reducing challenging behaviours; it’s about enhancing quality of life.


Hayley Brooks

Hayley Brooks is a dedicated Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) Practitioner and developmental educator (DE) with 5 years of experience assisting children and young people with disabilities. Hayley designs and implements evidence-based interventions to improve the quality of life of the individuals she supports. Hayley is committed to delivering a person-centred approach, collaborating with individuals, interdisciplinary teams, families, and caregivers to foster a compassionate and empowering environment where individuals can thrive and achieve their goals by promoting positive behaviour change.


Mel Sharpe

Mel Sharpe is a Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) Practitioner and Developmental Educator (DE) with 5 years experience supporting adults with disability. Mel is dedicated to providing person centred practice and aims to improve the quality of life of the individuals she supports. She does this by collaborating with the individual, their family, caregivers, multidisciplinary team and supports to ensure the best outcome for the individual and to ensure everyone feels supported and empowered.

As part o her honours project at Flinders University, Mel interviewed nine adults with ASD who were working in open employment in a range of sectors including retail, hospitality, and commercial cleaning.  Read the journal article on Open employment: the lived experiences of people with Autism Spectrum Disorder — Diversity Pathways





*2021-2022 period


When you contact Barkuma, you may speak to our Intake team. They manage all new enquiries and help ensure a seamless transition into the supports you choose. Barkuma Intake provides information to assist you to take control of your goals and make informed choices. Whether you are enquiring about employment options or want to know more about our NDIS services, our team is here to help.