Free speech and language therapy advice clinic offered at Sensational Kids in Clonakilty

Posted on: 8th October, 2018

Category: Health & Lifestyle

Contributor: West Cork People

Award-winning children’s charity Sensational Kids, which opened a state-of-the-art facility in West Cork this summer, is currently providing a free speech and language therapy advice clinic at the new facility in Clonakilty until the end of October.

The charity, with a team of highly experienced therapists, provides vital early intervention services such as speech and language therapy to children with additional needs like autism, dyspraxia, adhd, hearing loss and Down syndrome.

Any parent who has a question or a concern about their child’s speech and language development can call by during the scheduled drop-in times and get free advice from one of the therapists.

According to Sensational Kids, one in four children in Ireland has a special educational need such as autism, dyspraxia, dyslexia, down syndrome and other developmental delays. Unfortunately, children can wait as long as three years to access vital early intervention services through the public system.

The 10,000 sq ft child facility in Clonakilty provides a full range of child development services including occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, and play therapy.

Founded in 2008 by Karen Leigh, Sensational Kids has worked with more than 4,700 children over the past 10 years at their child development centres.

Karen said she founded the charity after discovering first-hand a lack of affordable support services for children with special educational needs.

“2018 marks the 10th anniversary of Sensational Kids and regrettably our services are more vital now than ever. Our team in Clonakilty, led by Senior Speech and Language Therapist, Elaine Baldwin is looking forward to making a real difference to the lives of children in the region.”

Sensational Kids provides three offerings for children and their families; affordable services for children in need of additional support, a child development and learning store, which sells a range of fun skill building toys both in-store and online and professional development training workshops for those working with children with additional needs. Collectively these services are ensuring that the children benefitting from them can improve their skills and maximise their potential.

Services are open to children of all ages, and of all abilities, including those with additional needs and include occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and play therapy.

All assessments are fully recognised and all therapists are registered with CORU, the professional regulatory body of Ireland (a regulatory body for Health and Social Care Professionals. All Occupational Therapists at Sensational kids are members of the AOTI, (association of occupational therapists of Ireland) and speech and language therapists are members of  IASLT, the recognised professional association of Speech & Language Therapists in Ireland.

Sensational Kids uses a dynamic business model that relies on no state funding. All proceeds from the shop and training workshops are invested back into the charity to help subsidise the cost of its child development services. In addition, Sensational Kids also fundraises each year to ensure its clients pay a minimum for its services.

The facility in the West Cork Business and Technology Park was fitted out using €45,000 donated by The Dormant Accounts Fund.

A West Cork accountancy firm, Crowley & McCarthy, is generously subsidising the rent of the building for Sensational Kids. Derry Crowley of Crowley & McCarthy commented; “we are delighted to provide this 10,000 sq ft facility for Sensational Kids at a reduced rent for the benefit of children with additional needs in our community. Sensational Kids does great work and we are happy to work with them to ensure that children in our area can access the early intervention supports they need.”

Karen Leigh said the charity has been blown away by the support of the local community in West Cork. “In particular we would like to thank Derry Crowley & Donal McCarthy of Crowley & McCarthy chartered accountants for their kindness and generosity by subsidising the rent so that children with additional needs can access the supports they need to help them reach their potential. It’s an amazing gesture of goodwill and a very practical and meaningful example of how a company can support a local children’s charity to impact to the lives of children with additional needs in their local community.”

The Sensational Kids drop-in advice clinic operates from 10am to 12 noon on Wednesday mornings and from 6-8pm every Thursday evening at Sensational Kids in Building G, West Cork Technology Park, Clonakilty.

The charity provides subsidised therapy sessions (€75/hour) and aims to see each child within three weeks.

Appointments for Sensational Kids new Child Development Centre, located at West Cork Technology Park, can be made by contacting Sensational Kids on 023 887 8208. for more information.


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