Neurodiversity Ireland Fundraising Goals
We aim to strengthen the neurodiversity movement’s ability to achieve a fair and just society in Ireland by:
- Representing the shared interests of a neurodiverse community and driving awareness of these interests within business, schools and community organisations
- Supporting neurodivergent people to thrive in daily life within their community
- Fundraising to provide access to badly needed services and facilities for neurodivergent children.
Goal of fundraising
One of the main issues preventing neurodivergent children from truly thriving is the lack of available facilities. More qualified specialists are needed, with the correct equipment and space in which to conduct Sensory Processing Integration and Occupational Therapy. The public sector is not able to meet the needs of neurodivergent people in many part of Ireland including Dublin South. Individual therapists cannot afford appropriately-sized facilities and cannot provide enough access to the correct equipment to run effective Sensory Processing Integration and Occupational Therapy programmes.
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:
- Intensive Therapy Model – Providing an intensive treatment as an effective way to manage sensory issues
- Occupational Therapy – Supporting parent empowerment helping families move treatment into natural settings, such as home and school
- Speech and Language therapy sessions – Supporting 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.”
– Dr Katie Cremin, Assistant Professor in Occupational Therapy, Trinity College Dublin.
Why we need to create a Sensory Therapy Center
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 by AsIAm found that two-thirds of respondents are dissatisfied with the availability of neurodivergent services in Ireland; 40% also said that their neurodivergent children lost key skills during the pandemic.
We know that a huge number of parents and guardians of neurodivergent children are worn out, frustrated and disheartened in their attempts to secure adequate therapy for their children. Does that sound like you? Research also shows that:
- Two-thirds of parents and guardians have had to wait two years or more to receive support for their child. Even than, therapy provided is often limited and not up to standard
- Over half of parents and guardians are very dissatisfied with the HSE support services for their neurodivergent children
- Almost four in five parents and guardians say they are not getting any support from either the Early Intervention or School Age-Going Teams
Benefits of Sensory Therapy for children
Sensory integration therapy helps children to learn to use all their senses together – touch, smell, taste, sight and hearing. This is just one of the ways in which therapy helps neurodivergent children to flourish and learn in a positive and safe environment. One of the sensory therapies we would offer is Occupational Therapy which helps to improve a child’s motor, cognitive, sensory processing, social, and play skills. The therapist’s goal is always to enhance a child’s abilities and reduce the impact of developmental delay, and to help families address the specific needs of their child.
Speech and language therapy, which will also be available in our center, focuses on opening up the lines of communication for those who have little to no verbal communication. It also supports verbal autistic children to improve pronunciation and enunciation and, in most cases, will improve the child’s understanding of social cues to support mainstream interaction at school.