Goal of fundraising
We are fundraising to create the Neurodiversity Ireland Sensory Therapy Centre - Dublin. This centre would offer the following resources and services to support neurodivergent children in Sensory Processing Integration/Occupational Therapy /Speech and language therapy:
Sensory Processing therapy through movement and play;
Occupational therapy supporting parent empowerment helping families move treatment into natural settings, such as home and school.
Speech and Language therapy sessions to support communication growth and improvement
“Early Sensory therapy intervention can provide critical developmental opportunities which help establish foundations for successful participation in play, school and home life” according to Dr Katie Cremin, Assistant Professor in Occupational Therapy, Trinity College Dublin.
Why we need to create a Sensory Therapy Centre
About 20%* of the population are “neurodivergent” e.g autistic, ADHD, dyspraxic or dyslexic, however the services and facilities needed to support neurodivergent people are hugely lacking in Ireland. A recent Irish report from AsIAm it showed two-thirds of respondents are dissatisfied with Neurodivergent services available in Ireland and 40% said that their neurodivergent children lost key skills during the pandemic.
There is widespread fatigue felt by huge swathes of parents and guardians of neurodivergent children in attempting to secure adequate therapy for their children. Key findings also include:
Two-thirds of parents and guardians surveyed have had to wait two years or more to receive support for their child. Even when available therapy is limited and not up to standard
Over half felt very dissatisfied with the HSE support services for their Neurodivergent children
Almost four in five said that they were not in receipt of any support from either the Early Intervention or School Age-Going Teams.
Benefits of Sensory Therapy for children
Sensory integration therapy is used to help children learn to use all their senses together – that is, touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. These types of therapy support neurodivergent children flourish and learn in a positive and safe environment. One of the sensory therapies we would offer is occupational therapy as it helps improve a child's motor, cognitive and sensory processing. The therapist's goal is always to enhance a child's abilities and reduce the impact of developmental delay, and to help families to address the specific needs of their child.
Speech and language which will also be available in our centre and it focuses on opening up the lines of communication for those who have little to no verbal communication at all. It also supports verbal autistic children to improved pronunciation and enunciation.