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Specialist Autism Services

Specialist services for young children with autism


Psychologist Role

The role of the Psychologist in the St. Joseph’s Autism service includes:

  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Recommendations for early intervention programmes based on research evidence and best practice guidelines
  • Therapeutic work with individuals and their families
  • Advice to schools on request
  • Referrals include extreme distress/behavioural difficulties,  sleep problems, social interaction difficulties, school placement breakdowns, relationship difficulties in the home or at school and  transition assessments for school as appropriate.
  • Positive Behavioural Programmes
  • Parent and staff training autism awareness

The Psychology department also employs an Applied Behavioural Analyst specialised in setting up home programmes for young children with autism. This is a specialised curriculum and method of teaching young children with autism for a minimum of 20 hours per week and is based on up to date outcome research.


Occupational Therapist Role

The role of the Occupational Therapist in the St. Joseph’s Autism service includes

The occupational therapy service at St. Joseph’s Foundation provides an intervention service for children aged 0-18 in the North Cork area. Occupational therapists also assist in the formal diagnosis of a children with ASD by contributing information regarding a child’s development in the areas of:

  • fine motor skills
  • gross motor skills
  • social and play skills
  • sensory processing status
  • attention and behaviour

When gathering information as part of the assessment of daily living activities and performance, the occupational therapist is typically concerned with the a child’s abilities in carrying out the typical activities appropriate to the child’s age. The areas of focus include self-care, education and recreation. The occupational therapist aims to establish the impact of ASD on the child’s routines and the impact of environmental factors on the child’s performance.

Interventions are developed based on the occupational therapy assessment and are aimed at improving the child’s participation in daily living activities. Interventions are focused on daily living activities in the areas of home, school and recreation.