Amanda Kelly, Senior Occupational Therapist at Sensational Kids

Amanda joined Sensational Kids as an experienced Senior Occupational Therapist after working as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist for six years with the HSE. In this position she gained experience working with children with a range of conditions including ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, DCD/Dyspraxia and children without diagnosis who are falling behind or have Sensory Processing Disorders.

Amanda has a strong interest in Sensory Integration and enjoys working with children immensely. In keeping with the ethos at Sensational Kids Amanda believes that every child deserves the opportunity to achieve their goals in life.

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Claire Connaughton, Educational Psychologist at Sensational Kids

Claire Connaughton is an Educational Psychologist who has also taught as a primary school teacher for seven years where she gained much experience teaching in mainstream classrooms.  Claire started out her studies in Mary Immaculate College, Limerick and obtained an Honours Degree in Irish and Geography followed by a Postgraduate Degree in Education. Claire obtained a Higher Diploma in Psychology from Dublin Business School and a Masters in Educational Psychology from University College Dublin.Claire aims to support the development of children and adolescent’s social, emotional , behavioural and academic development. She offers young children, adolescents and Third Level students comprehensive psychological assessments and therapeutic interventions.

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Elaine Baldwin, Speech & Language Therapist at Sensational Kids

Elaine joined our team at Sensational Kids having graduated with an honours degree in speech & language therapy from University College Cork in 2012. Elaine has experience in the provision of individual and group therapy and assessments to children of all ages and all abilites. She has worked with children up to aged 18 years with varying needs including intellectual disability, developmental delay and Autistic Spectrum Disorders.

Recently Elaine has undertaken Auditory Verbal Therapy Training,Part 1 Working Through Audition, an RCSLT Approved & AG Bell Academy accredited six days of training with an LSLS Certified Auditory Verbal Therapist® to provide specialist speech & language therapy training to children with hearing loss using the techniques of auditory verbal therapy. 

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Gayle Kearney Sensational Kids Parent Support Group Leader

Gayle has a vast array of experience and qualifications in child development, including being a parent herself, a fully qualified counsellor, a child and adolescent psychotherapist and play therapist.  She has been working with children and families for over 16 years.  Gayle works as a therapist in a primary school, with adolescents in a residential care setting, and with young people whose family’s have been affected by drug misuse.  

Gayle is the core lecturer with the Irish Institute of Counselling and Psychotherapy’s Postgraduate Certificate in Child and Adolescent Counselling.  She is a founder of Specialised Play and Workshops, and one of the designers of the “Wipe Out Worries” group programme for children which is run at Sensational Kids. Gayle has also previously served as a voluntary trustee on the board of directors of Sensational Kids.  

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Grainne Maguire FBDO  Orthoscopics at Sensational Kids

Grainne Maguire is an Optician with a special interest in Paediatric dispensing. Having worked with Ian Jordan F.B.D.O. (clinical director of Orthoscopics), she brought the Orthoscopic Red Eye to the Republic of Ireland in 2008. Grainne qualified as a dispensing Optician in 1999. Grainne has  a special interest in visual processing problems and uses the Orthoscopic system to reduce or eliminate the symptoms associated with, eg. Dyslexia Dyspraxia, migraine, convergence insufficiency, headaches, ADD, ASD and a number of other neurological conditions. Orthoscopics is the use of coloured lenses for individuals with Visual perceptual problems (visual stress). It is necessary to have a regular eye examination with an Optometrist to check ones visual acuity and the health of ones eyes. Visual Perceptual problems are not always picked up at this stage as they are not part of a traditional eye examination.


Laura Kelly, Occupational Therapist at Sensational Kids

Throughout her education and career Laura has gained valuable experience working with both children and adults with disabilities across a wide variety of settings. Laura worked as a special needs assistant in for July Provision in 2014. Following this, Laura completed an 11 week OT placement in  Stewarts Care (Oct-Dec 2014), where working with people with disabilities,  she gained experience in seating, Sensory Integration (SI), paediatric assessments, provision of adaptive equipment, environmental adaptions and group work. During the summer of 2015 Laura spent 3 months in a respite camp in the US working as a carer for both children and adults with disabilities. Laura based her final year research project at Trinity College on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the inclusion of students with ASD in Irish Secondary schools.   Following her graduation from Trinity Laura joined the team at Sensational Kids. From working in a variety of different roles Laura feels she can better empathise with and succesfully support those with disabilities (and their families) to achieve their goals. 

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Mary Connell, Specialist Literacy Teacher at Sensational Kids

Mary is a very experienced specialist primary school and montessori teacher, who is passionate about helping children who struggle to learn to read and has a special interest in helping children with dyslexia with reading. Mary has worked with children with a variety of special educational needs for many years.  

Originally from Athenry, Co Galway, Mary qualified as a primary teacher at Manchester University in 1969. After which, she worked for a number of years at a primary school in Salford in Lancashire. Following Irish certification with the Irish Department of Education, Mary worked as a National School Teacher in a rural national school in Co.Laois. Mary also qualified in the Montessori method of Education in 1982. In 1993, Mary was appointed as a full time learning support teacher for four National Schools in the Laois area. During this time, Mary undertook a number of additional qualifications in dyslexia and learning support.

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Patrick Devenney,  Educational Psychologist at Sensational Kids

Pat is a very experienced educational psychologist and former teacher who obtained a Professional Diploma in Educational Psychology in 2007 from the Psychological Society of Ireland. Pat is a Registered Psychologist with the PSI and has all the relevant qualifications required to practise as an educational Psychologist and he has also received post-graduate supervision and is in a position to supervise other Psychologists. The Learn Journal has published articles by Pat about literacy intervention. In additional to individual Educational Psychological Assessments of adults and children, Pat has also implemented literacy interventions in schools with great results. Pat was educated in the Patrician Brothers Secondary School in Newbridge, Co. Kildare. He subsequently studied at University College Dublin (UCD) and obtained an Honours Psychology Degree and a Higher Diploma in Education. Pat has 10 years teacher experience and had worked in Primary, Post-Primary, Primary and Specialised Education. Pat has a special interest in assessing and helping children with dyslexia. 

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Yvonne O’Neill, Play Therapist at Sensational Kids

Yvonne is an amazing play therapist who has gained vast experience of working with children with special educational and emotional needs. Yvonne O’Neill’s Qualifications include, BA. Social Care Practice DIT, Post Graduate Diploma in Play Therapy CTC, and Diplomas in Psychology & Counselling from NUI Maynooth. Yvonne is currently completing her MA Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy and Play Therapy for Children and Adolescents. Yvonne is a PAM of Irish Association of play and Psychotherapy. Amongst other things Yvonne is also the co founder of the Wipe Out Worries Group which runs at Sensational Kids and specialized play and workshops. Yvonne had also put together sensory scientist a play therapy group for Autistic children and their parents and is involved in the Sensational Kids Transition To Secondary School Group.

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