All Things Sensory by Harkla

#166 - Education + Sensory with Kirstie Wishart, Founder of Starfish in NSW, Australia

August 18, 2021 Rachel Harrington, COTA/L, AC & Jessica Hill, COTA/L Episode 166
All Things Sensory by Harkla
#166 - Education + Sensory with Kirstie Wishart, Founder of Starfish in NSW, Australia
Show Notes

We are joined by a very special guest from Australia! Kirstie Wishart is a teacher, sensory educator, educational consultant, and founder of the Starfish Store, an education sensory and specialized store based in NSW, Australia. Starfish offers one-on-one tutoring for people of all ages who struggle with learning disabilities. They also carry Harkla products! She talks about raising four sons, one of whom is dyslexic, while working in special education. You’ll hear Kirstie break down how she teaches functional maths to students as well as some of the products she sells at Starfish and how she uses them with her students. Kirstie describes how the Harkla Hug and Shmoosho products helped her tremendously with one of her students. We discuss the gap between sensory teaching and the undergraduate education that teachers receive and what Kirstie’s hopes are for the future of sensory learning. Kirstie shares her advice for other teachers and why she believes podcasts are a meaningful and effective way of spreading good information.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Five secret questions with Kirstie: nosebleeds, desserts, books, tech-free activities, and more!
  • Kirstie’s work as a teacher and how one of her children was diagnosed with dyslexia.
  • The story of Starfish Store.
  • How she provides people with learning disabilities with one-on-one tutoring.
  • Oher initiatives she is involved with, like children in the foster care system.
  • How Kirstie teaches functional maths.
  • Products that she offers in the Starfish store.
  • How Kirstie found Harkla’s products.
  • How the Harkla Hug and Shmoosho products helped her in teaching one of her students.
  • Harkla's plan to create a course for sensory strategies in the classroom.
  • How to educate teachers on how to use sensory strategies in the classroom.
  • The one-on-one shopping assistance Starfish adapted during COVID.
  • Kirstie’s experience with scammers during COVID and how it affects shipping and payment.
  • Her plans for producing more of their own resources!
  • Kirstie shares her primary advice with listeners.
  • Find out how our hosts keep themselves energized and what their plans are for the future. 

Be sure to check out the show notes on our blog at  Harkla.Co/Podcast.

Brought To You By Harkla

This podcast is brought to you by Harkla.  Our mission at Harkla is to help those with special needs live happy and healthy lives. We accomplish this through high-quality sensory products, child development courses, & The Harkla Sensory Club.

Podcast listeners get 10% off their first order at Harkla with the discount code "sensory". Head to to start shopping now.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Kirstie Wishart LinkedIn
Starfish Facebook
Starfish Instagram
Harkla Hug
Compression swing
All Things Sensory Instagram
All Things Sensory Facebook