COVID-19 Update: Re-Opening Plan

Like you, we have been watching the progress of COVID-19 and the government’s response very closely. The processes and procedures we need to adopt are reasonably significant to plan and implement before opening. Over the past number of weeks our team have been working closely with a Health & Safety Consultant as well as our Clinical Governance Team to ensure that both our employees and families can safely avail of our vital frontline therapeutic supports in person again. We plan to gradually reopen our services from Wednesday 17th June 2020 whilst moving to a blended model of care which will incorporate both telehealth and in-person services. At least 2 employees from each of our four child development centres have been trained as “Covid-19 Officers” by our Health & Safety Consultants, to ensure compliance and implementation of our Covid-19 policies in the workplace. A return to in-person supports may look and […]

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Sensational Kids Clinical Governance Committee

Our voluntary Clinical Governance Committee is an advisory Subcommittee reporting to the Board of Directors but may consider issues on behalf of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or clinical and operational staff. The purpose of the Subcommittee is to provide advice to the Board, Chief Executive Officer and or clinical and operational staff on issues relating to clinical risk management, clinical effectiveness, child and family centred services, continuous improvement of service and scope of practice for Sensational Kids. This group is chaired by board member Dr Katie Cremin, an award winning Assistant Professor in Occupational Therapy at Trinity College Dublin, together with members Sinead Callinan, Clinical Consultant and Helen Gannon, Senior Speech & Language Therapist. Clinical Governance is a tool to support clinical staff in Sensational Kids to deliver quality services and ensure children and families receive quality services. Sensation Kids aims to differentiate the service from other private providers […]

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The Scared Gang Have to Stay At Home

Written by Eadaoin Bhreathnach, Occupational Therapist & Attachment Counsellor.   Here at Sensational Kids, we are big fans of The Scared Gang books by Eadaoin Bhreathnach   We are delighted to share this free resource, The Scared Gang Have to Stay at Home:    Click HERE to read The Scared Gang Hang to Stay at Home   The Scared Gang characters, images and stories are copyright. The author and artist are providing this story as a free resource for children in response to Covid-19. Commercial reproduction of this book is not permitted. The information in this book is based on the current Covid-19 UK government guidelines April 3rd 2020.

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Online Therapy Supports Re-Open at Sensational Kids, Monaghan

Generous Donation for Online Therapy Supports for Children in Need in Monaghan Area   There’s good news for parents of children with additional needs in the Cavan/Monaghan and surrounding areas. Sensational Kids Child Development Centre in Monaghan, which was forced to close its online occupational therapy supports for children with additional needs during the pandemic due to a lack of funding, has today re-opened its online occupational therapy supports for children and families in need, with thanks to a very generous donation by a donor advised fund from The Community Foundation of Ireland. Sensational Kids’ online tele-health services that are available for children from Sensational Kids in Monaghan include Occupational Therapy and Speech & Language Therapy for children and adolescents of all ages and all abilities, as well as parent advice and parent coaching for parents who have children with additional needs. As a Social Enterprise, our affordable and accessible […]

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Telehealth at Sensational Kids

On March 18th, at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in Ireland, we temporarily ceased clinic-based services. It was impossible for our therapists to continue offering therapy services in person while complying with social distancing guidelines. This called for innovation, adaptation, and flexibility. We knew that our families would continue to need our services, particularly with the current crisis; school closures, change in daily routines and increased anxiety levels. Sensational Kids is proud to have set up a telehealth service to ensure continuity of service and to support families. This blog post aims to provide information on telehealth and to highlight the benefits of telehealth from the perspective of a therapist. What is telehealth? “Telehealth is the use of digital information and communication technologies, such as computers and mobile devices, to access health care services remotely. These may be technologies you use from home”. Telehealth is growing rapidly and has […]

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Tips from Sensational Kids Speech & Language Therapist

Senior Speech & Language Therapist at Sensational Kids, Sarah Gorman provides some speech & language therapy tips:   Attention Tips:  Keep activities brief or structure them into short blocks Allow for regular breaks Alternate between challenging and less challenging activities Present one activity or idea at a time Keep distractions to a minimum Increase goals gradually Ensure that tasks are meaningful and are within your child’srange of ability   Receptive Language Tips: Use simple and concise language Use pauses when speaking and go slow Support language with gestures and visual cues Give instructions as they are expected to happen Allow for processing time – try not to repeat a sentence/instruction immediately Turn questions into sentence starters where possible e.g. ‘The wolf lived in the…?’ Use strong/animated facial expressions to match language and model feelings   Expressive Language Tips: Give your child your full attention when they want to speak Use […]

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Covid-19 Crisis Forces Closure of Sensational Kids Monaghan

Charity Forced to Close Monaghan Child Development Centre for Children with Additional Needs   This week, Sensational Kids, an award-winning social enterprise and charitable organisation was forced to temporarily close the doors of its child development centre in Clones, County Monaghan, leaving many vulnerable children without essential services and three staff unemployed. “It is with deep regret and a very heavy heart that we were forced to temporarily close our child development centre in Clones this week” says Sensational Kids CEO & Founder Karen Leigh.  “Like many other non-profit organisations, we have been severely impacted operationally and financially by the unprecedented impact of the Covid-19 crisis. Whilst we are currently unable to provide face to face therapy supports for children and families at our child development centres, Sensational Kids has been very innovative and responded quickly to the crisis. Our amazing team immediately recognised that many families and children still […]

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Good Health Apps for Children and Young People

Orcha accredit and approve healthcare and wellness apps for the NHS and have put together the following list of useful apps for children and young people during this outbreak. Embracing their love of smartphones, apps can keep children and young people engaged with their health and wellbeing, as well as relieving pressure on the NHS./HSE App stores are, however, unregulated, and 85% of apps do not meet ORCHA’s quality threshold. To share knowledge and resources, we’ve pulled together a list of apps suitable for children and young people, all of which are safe to use according to our evaluations, covering: Managing mental health, including anxiety Wellbeing Conditions such as asthma and diabetes. The Worrinots* and Wotnot* are companion apps to help children offload their worries, and allow parents to monitor their child’s concerns. The Worrinots is a secure app designed for children, providing them with a safe place to share their worries, fears and […]

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Working Speech and Language Targets into Home Activities

Trying to keep on top of your child’s speech and language therapy targets can be tricky at times, especially now when there has been such a big and sudden change to everyone’s routine. The following are ways of working on speech and language targets through everyday activities at home.  Books: Books are the perfect language tool. For younger children books are important for listening and learning new vocabulary. Children learn words when they are interested-read books that interest your child.  If your child is working on ‘Wh’ questions books are great opportunity to work on this. As you are reading the book and looking at the pictures you can ask your child ‘wh’ questions about what they are seeing or hearing-‘What colour is the boys jumper?, ‘who is climbing the tree?’ ‘where is he hiding?’ ‘why is she sad?’. Books are great for learning prepositions also. Use the pictures in the books and comment on the characters, eg. ‘the boy is in the car’, ‘the cat is on the […]

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Virtual Care at Sensational Kids

A Brand New Way to Receive Sensational Kids Services Our innovative Virtual Care services leverage video conference technology to allow you to connect remotely with one of our healthcare professionals, regardless of where you’re located. Access to therapy supports for a child or adolescent can make all the difference in the world, which is why Sensational Kids is innovating to improve access to services and to look after our vulnerable children and adolescents, when clinic based services are unavailable. You can now connect with us remotely for Virtual Care. From Monday 23rd March, all of our occupational therapy, speech & language therapy and play therapy sessions will be moving to online video calls using a secure virtual healthcare video conferencing system. You can also request for a therapist to call you over the phone. Our Virtual Care services are easy to use, private, and most of all convenient. Removes accessibility […]

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Important Notice About Therapy Appointments

Going Online  Due to the Corona Virus guidelines to maintain social distancing, we are  adapting and moving our regular therapy appointments online. We understand that regular therapy is important to be effective and that some children need us now more than ever. It is so important for our children to maintain relationships and support at this time.  Parent consultations, speech & language therapy, play therapy and occupational therapy appointments will continue as normal online . What you will need for online therapyFor your online therapy to work will need  – Internet access. – a tablet/laptop or desktop with a camera. Assessments and some other services have to be postponed. Please contact our local therapy centres for confirmation about your booked appointments. KILDARE: Phone 045 520900 Email info@sensationalkids.ie MAYO: Phone 094 9357005 Email Claremorris@sensationalkids.ie MONAGHAN: Phone 047 52671 Email Clones@sensationalkids.ie WEST CORK: Phone 023 887 8208 Email Clonakilty@sensationalkids.ie   Psychotherapy Support We […]

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Important Notice

All face to face appointments are now cancelled due to the Corona Virus. We are however, trying to find innovative ways to support our community through this difficult time as we are aware that some children need us now more than ever. We are in the process of setting up online therapy appointments with online booking so please bear with us whilst we set this up. In the meantime, we can offer appointments or advice over the phone or by skype instead. Please do not hesitate to give us a call if you need therapy support or therapy advice. For all queries contact us at: KILDARE:Phone 045 520900Email info@sensationalkids.ie MAYO:Phone 094 9357005Email Claremorris@sensationalkids.ie MONAGHAN:Phone 047 52671Email Clones@sensationalkids.ie WEST CORK:Phone 023 887 8208Email Clonakilty@sensationalkids.ie We look forward to playing with you all again soon.

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Notice from Sensational Kids to all visitors during Covid

Therapy Supports Sensational Kids is a special place providing a place of safety, security, health and growth to children and families who us visit each week and for our amazing staff who work so hard every day. During the current Covid-19 situation, we want to share our plan and added precautions we have taken. We ask our community to follow these guidelines, as well as the guidelines issued by the HSE. We are mindful that Sensational Kids is often a vital lifeline for many vulnerable children who need regular therapy input to maintain their regulation and meet their sensory needs, as well as providing specialist therapeutic supports to children and adolescents who may be self-harming, suicidal, are dealing with trauma or who suffer from anxiety. Our plan attempts to walk the fine line between carrying on, and being prudent. Therapy appointments and Assessment appointments at Sensational Kids will be facilitated […]

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Supporting a Child who Stammers

Stammering is the term used to describe a difficulty in the timing and flow of speech, resulting in dysfluent speech.  Its onset in children is typically between the ages of 2 ½ and 7 years of age. Children under 5 years of age are likely to have lots of periods of ‘normal non-fluency’. This is considered a typical part of language development as the child practises and learns to use speech sounds while they learn to talk. This is not stammering and resolves spontaneously as the child gets older. The cause of stammering is unknown, but it is believed to be due to a combination of elements rather than one sole factor. These elements may include environmental factors such as the location where speech happens and emotional factors such as stress or the speaker’s perception of their own speech. Family history of stammering may also be a factor. But what […]

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Hand Washing Social Story

Speech & Language Therapist Caitlin Hughes from our child development centre in Mayo has put together this useful social story to help encourage children to wash their hands. It may be particularly useful for children on autism spectrum. Social Stories were originally developed for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders but they have also proved beneficial to children with learning, emotional, cognitive and communication impairments. Click Here to Download our free hand washing Social Story

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Supporting your child’s language development

There are many ways that we can support a child’s receptive and expressive language development. The following strategies for supporting your child’s language development can be carried out in a natural way through play, family time or during everyday activities. The ideas are for you to be a model for your child rather than you expecting them to repeat exactly what you say. Here are my favourite tips for supporting a child’s language development: Tune in: Follow your child’s lead to see what interests them. Get down to their level, it may mean sitting on the floor with them. See what interests them and use this as an opportunity to model language. It may be rolling the ball along the floor, you could say ‘roll’ or ‘roll the ball’. Keep your language short and simple emphasising key words. Children learn best through play-use this as a key opportunity to model […]

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Speech and Language Development Milestones

Are you concerned about your child’s speech, or ability to communicate, their use and understanding of words or how they pronounce their sounds? Our speech and language milestones information chart below will help you determine if your child needs intervention. CLICK HERE for our free Speech & Language Development Milestones Information Chart If you are concerned about your child’s speech production, please keep in mind that the majority of sounds a three year old makes should be normal. Although she/he may use all sounds correctly, she/he should be intelligible to strangers. Acceptable ages of Speech Sound Development for children Age Consonants 3 years – 3 years 11 months m, n, p, h, w, b, t, d, k, g, f 4 years Sh, S 5 years s, z, l, v, CH, TH, Q 6 years R If you are concerned about your child’s speech production, please keep in mind that the […]

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Supporting Communication in Children with Hearing Loss

Hearing loss, also known as hearing impairment, is a partial or total inability to hear. In children, hearing problems can have a significant impact on the ability to learn and develop their spoken language. The age at which hearing loss has occurred is known as the age of onset. Some children may have hearing loss since birth where are others have acquired hearing loss, after the point where they began to learn language. Children with hearing loss are likely to present with language delays i.e.  learn and develop their language at a slower pace that children without a hearing loss. It is vital to think about helping a child build a language and communication foundation as early as possible by accessing early intervention. The development of language and other skills begins with communication. There are many communication strategies and approaches that can be used early to build language including, but not limited to […]

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