About Us

Today, 1 in 4 children in Ireland has a special educational need. This means that there are 420,000 children in Ireland who have additional needs such as those with autism, down syndrome, adhd, dyslexia, dyspraxia and many other developmental delays.  Identifying and treating these difficulties at a young age will allow a child to truly realise their potential.

Accessible & Affordable Intervention Services

Sensational Kids is an award-winning social enterprise, that has already changed the lives of over 8,700 children, saving their families over €2 million in therapy fees. We provide vital front-line therapeutic supports for children with additional needs, ensuring that these children in need have access to vital supports when and where they need them.

With 70,000 children on waiting lists for speech therapy & occupational therapy our services are a lifeline for families whose children would otherwise be waiting 3-4 years to access services and would lose the opportunity for timely intervention and better outcomes for their children.

Sensational Kids operates four nationwide Child Development Centres in

  1. Leinster (Kildare)
  2. Connacht (Mayo)
  3. Ulster (Monaghan)
  4. Munster (West Cork)

providing affordable, accessible and timely intervention services, such as occupational therapy, speech & language therapy, and play therapy.

Fundraising and earned income from Sensational Kids’ Child Development & Learning Store and training workshops help to subsidise our therapy services, so that we can bridge the gap between public and private therapy services, providing a practical, accessible, and affordable service for those in need.

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Sensational Kids is a high impact not-for-profit organisation delivering life-changing, accessible and affordable, timely interventions to 6,800+ children of all abilities over the last 10 years, saving their families over €1.5 million in therapy fees.

CEO, Karen Leigh is the founding member of Sensational Kids. Having experienced lengthy waiting lists and a lack of affordable and accessible occupational therapy services for her own children, Karen founded Sensational Kids in 2007 , bridging the gap between public and private therapy services for children of all abilities.

Today Sensational Kids employs 28+ staff, including a highly skilled clinical team across our child development centres in Kildare, Mayo, Monaghan and West Cork,  providing vital supports such as occupational therapy, speech & language therapy, play therapy and hippotherapy.

Sensational Kids is Ireland’s leading non-profit provider of affordable and accessible early intervention services for children with additional needs in Ireland.


A lack of affordable support services for children who are experiencing developmental delays, or those that have special educational needs, means that too many children in Ireland are struggling to reach their full potential. The figures themselves are startling;

  • 1 in 4 children in Ireland has a special educational need
  • There are 16,341 children under the age of 18 waiting for a first time occupational therapy assessment. Over 1/3 have been waiting for over a year.
  • 29,481 children in Ireland are waiting for speech & language therapy appointments

Identifying and treating these difficulties at a young age will give a child a much better quality of life, but with lengthy public waiting lists, often the only alternative for families is expensive private sector care.

Our solution

Experiencing these difficulties first-hand, our CEO & Founder Karen Leigh became frustrated with the lengthy waiting lists her family faced in Ireland, not to mention the €120 an hour fees they had to pay for private occupational therapy. Determined to make a difference, she set out to create an affordable and accessible service that families like hers could benefit from.

Established in 2007, Sensational Kids operates as a child development centre, providing three key offerings for children and their families;

  1. Subsidised therapy services for children in need of additional support
  2. A child development and learning store providing a range of skill building toys and therapy products, where all proceeds are ploughed back into funding our subsidised therapy services
  3. Professional development training workshops for those working with children with special needs

Collectively, these services are ensuring that the children benefiting from them can improve their skills and maximise their potential.

Our Impact

To date,  Sensational Kids has directly supported 5,700+ children from all over Ireland  through our child development centres in Leinster, Munster & Connacht. Thanks to the fantastic work of the entire team, these children are now being given the opportunity to excel.

With our online store and retail shop helping to subsidise our services, Sensational Kids has already saved families in Ireland over €1.5 million  in therapy fees alone, providing a practical, accessible, and affordable service for those in need.

Each year 500+ professionals benefit from upskilling through our range of professional development training workshops.

Sensational Kids caters to a wide range of sectors including

  1. Early Intervention for children with additional needs, with and without a diagnosis (all abilities)
  2. Professional development training for those who work with children with additional needs
  3. Access to learning resources for organisations in education, and clinical service provision, child development, professionals, individuals, and educators

Our service model is built around three pillars:


  • To Assessments
  • To Nationwide Locations across three centres of excellence


  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech & Language Therapy
  • Hippotherapy
  • Reading Tuition
  • Play Therapy
  • Educational Psychology


  • Training Workshops &
  • Learning Resources

For parents, teachers & healthcare professionals

National Child Development Centres

Our service offering at our Child Development Centres in Leinster, Munster, Ulster & Connacht includes early intervention and assessments for children of all abilities, including those with additional needs.

  • Occupational therapy assessments and intervention
  • Speech & Language therapy assessments and intervention
  • Educational Psychological Assessments
  • Play Therapy
  • Specialist reading tuition for struggling readers
  • Wipe Out Worries Group
  • Social Skills Groups
  • Feeding Groups
  • Hippotherapy

Our Vision:

To be the leading, innovative, child development social enterprise in Ireland

Our Mission:

To provide affordable, accessible family centred, clinical and educational services, and products to children of all abilities, through therapy, training and professional support that directly impacts lives


Our Main Objective:

“To promote the health and welfare of children with special needs and children in need of additional supports by managing and operating a centre in County Kildare to enable such children to develop to their full potential by providing clinical assessments, occupational therapy, sensory integration therapy, speech and language therapy, psychological services and evidence-based therapies which impact on child development and wellbeing, and to make such services available to a wider population within the Republic of Ireland by endeavoring to open further such centres.”