The Collective Sensory Group is a non-profit service based in Wexford – Ireland, which is dedicated to providing high quality therapy, learning support and recreational opportunities for children with special needs and developmental delays. The provision of this professional, multi-disciplinary service has become an essential lifeline to many families struggling to cope with behavioural and social integration challenges that accompany these special needs.
Initiated by founders Shona and Siobhan, the project started in a spare room within one school. Due to the large-scale need within the Wexford area and the tangible benefits that the service was bringing, its success quickly led to a wider demand for both services and premises.
On a daily basis the Collective Sensory Group funds Occupational Therapy sessions, drama, yoga, play therapy and speech and language therapy, both one on one and in group sessions. The children range in age from 0 – 18 and currently over 30 children use the services each week.
Parents are also offered support and are given advice on where to source additional services. A yoga class is held one evening a week for parents to give them the opportunity to have a bit of much needed time to focus on their own well-being.
In addition to the continued provision of the current services, future aims of the Collective Sensory Group are to get funding for the ADOS assessment – a multidisciplinary approach to diagnose Autism. Having this available to parents and children will cut down on public waiting list times and enable access to vitally important resources and services as early as possible. Early intervention is the key to helping these children reach their full potential and to support the families going through what can be a very trying time.