Not for profits firm fills gap in Wexford market
FRUSTRATED at the lack of services provided by the HSE for children with special needs in Wexford, local woman Shona King has started her own 'not-for-profit' company dedicated to facilitating high quality therapeutic and recreational opportunities for youngsters in the town.
CEO Shona said two of her own children had special needs and the lack of a proper service to meet those needs and the fact she didn't want to 'sit on a waiting list for two years' prompted her to start the The Collective Sensory Group which she runs with Siobhan McMahon and four other members of staff - three occupational therapists and a language therapist.
She says her 'highly-experienced and qualified, multi-disciplinary team' ensures that the individual needs of each child are met. This, she says, is achieved through the development of child specific programmes which are created with clear goals in mind and in conjunction with parents, carers and other key professionals.
The new service offers Occupational Therapy, Speech and language Therapy, Play Therapy, Feeding Therapy, Therapeutic Listening, Sensory Integration and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, while its therapists have vast experience working with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, Cerebral Palsy, ADHD/ADD, Rett Syndrome, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder and many other neurological, intellectual and physical disabilities.
The service, which operates out a refurbished premises in Westlands, had only been operating for 12 weeks, and Shona says it is already fulfilling a huge need with 30 children on its fulltime books, with consultations on a daily basis. It has already hit its six-month projections.
She said that prior to opening the service, Siobhan and herself had opened a sensory room at the Faythe National School which proved 'a roaring success' and showed the way forward.
'We are not funded and do everything through fund raising, including walking a lot of footpaths,' she said.
Parents or guardians paye the service €45 for a 45-minute session, which she said, 'is the cheapest in Ireland'.
Shona can be reached on Facebook or on 089 4440062.