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Clon centre to help children

Wednesday, 4th April, 2018 5:23pm

Children with additional needs are set to benefit from the opening of a new state of the art facility in West Cork this summer.

Children’s charity, Sensational Kids, this week announced that it has begun providing vital speech and language therapy for children with additional needs such as autism, dyspraxia, dyslexia and Down Syndrome.

This introductory service comes in advance of the opening of Sensational Kids’ new facility in Clonakilty. €45,000 has been donated to the charity from the Dormant Accounts Fund which is being used to fit-out the facility in the West Cork Business and Technology Park.

The facility will provide a full range of child development services including occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, play therapy, and psychology.

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.

The charity also said that children can wait as long as two years to access vital early intervention services through the public system.

Sensational Kids is an award winning charity founded in 2008 by Karen Leigh.

She said she discovered first-hand a lack of affordable support services for children with special educational needs.

Karen said: “2018 marks the 10th anniversary of Sensational Kids and regrettably our services are more vital now than ever. We are delighted that the Dormant Accounts Fund has enabled us to expand and meet the demand for our services in Munster. 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.”

Over the past 10 years, Sensational Kids has worked with more than 4,700 children at their child development centres.

The charity provides subsidised therapy sessions at €75 and aims to see each child within three weeks.

Elaine Baldwin, said: “I’m really delighted that we are now able to offer this service to families in Munster. There are so many children left for long periods on waiting lists for public assessment and therapy services. Early intervention is key for children with speech and language difficulties,” she explained.

“Parents often demonstrate concern regarding their child’s communication development, sometimes unnecessarily and other times with good reason.

“Our free drop-in-clinic on Wednesdays will hopefully offer much needed peace of mind and specialist advice to many parents.”

The Sensational Kids team is currently providing speech and language therapy from Clonakilty GAA Club, Aghamillia and appointments can be made by calling 045-520900.

To kick start the initiative a free drop-in-clinic on Wednesdays from 10am – 12 noon is also being offered.

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

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