A six year old with intellectual disability
19th July 2018
Our son is 6 years old with an intellectual disability. He is in senior infants in main stream school where he has great support from the school, however we felt that he needed additional support from someone who was used to dealing with children like him.
At the time of meeting Helen he was struggling in a lot of areas but we decided to focus mainly on prewriting skills , numerical & the alphabet.
We started to visit Helen on a weekly basis where she introduced new programmes such as Handwriting without tears and Numicon in order to teach our son in a more visual way.She also suggested that she meet his resource teacher at school to ensure that she is always working on the same programmes as school to keep consistency and avoid overload and confusion with my son.
As we do not drop him off, Helen communicates with us via a notebook and sends us regular videos of his work. This communication is invaluable to see his quick progression.Currently he is able to do 6 of the 8 prewriting skills , he has learned a lot of the alphabet via the handwriting without tears system and he can now write his name. He also recognizes the numbers and can count from 1 to 5.
Helen understands our son, she chats to him about his day and his very comfortable with her. She knows how to get him to concentrate and rewards him with stickers. All of this is vital in his learning development.
We will continue to work with Helen over the summer months as the work she is doing is invaluable and the rewards are so tangible. We are so happy to have found her and would highly recommend her.
Maeve – Galway.
A child with Autism
10th July 2016
Helen provides a fantastic service and I would highly recommend her to any parent of a child with special needs.
Our 8 yr old son has autism and he has been going to Helen on a weekly basis since April of this year. He loved going right from the word go and continues to enjoy his session every week, which is a small miracle for a child who can get very anxious and stressed with new experiences and with meeting new people.
Helen very quickly got to know our son’s strengths and weaknesses and set about targeting the areas he needed most help with. It is all done in a child-friendly, fun way and he always comes away which a smile on his face. As a result, our son’s confidence and his ability to chat have greatly improved. So much so that while away on holidays recently a stranger told us that our son was ‘a lovely little chatterbox’!
As a fulltime working Mum with two children it is impossible for me to do all that I am supposed to be doing with our son to improve his communication, social and gross and fine motor skills but Helen has definitely helped to ease the load.
I only wish I had discovered her years ago.
God Bless you Helen!
A Moycullen Mom
A child with communications difficulties
May 7th 2016
We are very fortunate to have found Helen Mullarkey through a friend whose little boy is also attending Helen’s service.
My little girl is 3½ years old now and has a speech delay. We started attending Helen’s Special Needs Tutor service in January 2016. Already we have seen dramatic improvements in her speech as well as her confidence, it’s wonderful.
We attend twice per week and my daughter loves Helen and the play therapy sessions.
We are so grateful for the empathy, support and truly positive contribution Helen provides on a continuous basis.
Helen goes that extra mile to make sure our little girl reaches her full potential. Her recommendations are also invaluable, ie phonics, CD’s with music and action, visual aids, music and drama.
We are so grateful to Helen for the wonderful difference she is making in our lives. We can’t thank you enough Helen.
From the heart,
A very grateful Salthill family
A child with Down Syndrome (2 ½)
May 15th 2015
I think that one of the significant things that our weekly sessions with Helen is that it has given my son Jack independence. Helen’s work is a reflection on her passion for life and for children.
She brings a sense of warmth, openness and compassion to her work as a tutor. My little boy has readily connected with her and has benefited enormously from the wonderful facility that she provides.
I feel that the skills he is learning through play and song are ones which are helping to cultivate a deep foundation of self-awareness, clarity and confidence. Helen truly is meant to be in a profession that supports and promotes children who need a little extra.
A child with Autism and severe speech and language impairment
July 14th 2013
It was our blessing that we accidentally found out about Helen.
Our son (9 ½ years old) has a problem with communication and speech. He needs to do the work recommended by a speech and language therapist every day. It could be very hard for a parent, and to have someone like Helen is a great relief.
Throughout the game and in a child-friendly environment our son learns how to communicate and have more confidence. His speech and language, as well as memory thrive. Derbyshire language is a great tool which she uses.
I must point out that Helen is a wonderful and friendly person who always has time to explain what they did during the session. Through our conversations and during the sessions, Helen found out about him a lot in a short time, which it has made the sessions even better.
Mum from Galway
A child with Down Syndrome
20th October 2012
My son Adrian is two and a half and has Down syndrome. Adrian first started attending Helen’s sessions at the Clann family resource centre in Oughterard.
Adrian now attends Helen’s for one hour once a week and his face lights up as soon as he arrives at Helen’s, he really loves the sessions. Adrian has progressed enormously from Helen’s input. His hand eye coordination and fine motor movement has greatly improved.
Adrian was medically very unwell for the first year of his life and his gross motor movement and speech and language development were further delayed as a result of him being so unwell, since working with Helen he is almost walking freely and his levels of communication through sound production are much improved.
I cannot recommend the service Helen provides highly enough
It is a wonderful child friendly environment where learning happens the way it should in a fun and positive way.
Gillian Shaw, Moycullen
A child with Hurlers Syndrome
16th October 2012
To whom it may concern
Our little girl has a condition known as Hurlers Syndrome which affects both her physical and mental development. This resulted in her missing a lot of pre-school and thus falling behind in certain areas especially her ability to pick up, hold and use crayons/pencils and to focus on classroom activities.
I was recommended by the Clann Resource centre in Oughterard, to get in touch with Helen Mullarkey. Since starting her weekly sessions with Helen, we have noticed huge improvements with her concentration and fine motor skills.
She is now in Primary school and these sessions have helped her complete written work sheets and colouring activities given to her in class.
We are delighted to have such a service in our area and would have no hesitation in recommending Helen to other parents of children with special needs.
Margaret Geoghegan, Oughterard
A Child with a rare neurological condition/visually impaired
11th October 2012
To whom it may concern
Our son was diagnosed with a rare neurological condition, microlissencephaly / microcephaly with simplified gyral patterns and is also severely visually impaired.
We decided to begin early intervention as soon as possible to give him the best possible start in life and were delighted to discover that there was such a service available in Moycullen. Helen began working with our little boy when he was six months old and I feel that this tutoring has contributed to his overall development.
His social skills & responses are fantastic. He loves his weekly visits to Helen & knows her very well at this stage.
This is an excellent service I would recommend to any parent with a special needs child.
A Child with Delayed Speech and Language Development
11th May 2011
To whom it may concern,
I first met Helen in March of this year when she started working with my five year old son who has delayed speech and language development, in his pre-school.Due to the lack of a speech and language therapist in the early intervention centre in Spiddle, my son was put on a long waiting list and had no continuous speech and language therapy. This was a huge concern of mine as he was starting primary school in September.
Helen started working with him three days per week for one hour per day. After a very short period of time I noticed a great improvement in his communication skills and asked Helen if she would continue with the sessions after he had finished in pre-school.
Therefore I was delighted to hear that Helen was setting up a special needs tutoring service in Moycullen. My son continues to attend Helen’s service on a weekly basis and has excelled with his communication development. His social & emotional skills as well as his cognitive skills have also developed dramatically. He is so happy attending each session and has become more outgoing and confident in himself.
I am grateful for Helen’s tutoring service and for the enormous benefits my son is gaining from attending her one to one sessions. The progress he has made has enabled us his parents and his siblings to have a normal family life.
I hope this service will continue to operate for many years to come giving other children like my son the care and attention they need to help them achieve their goals and become independent.
Clann Resource Centre
23rd September 2011
To whom it may concern,
At the request of the parents here in our centre, Helen Mullarkey provided her Special Needs tutoring service to children on a weekly basis during June and July of this year. The parents of these children were frustrated at the lack of services available and the long waiting lists due to the incomplete team in the early intervention service in Spiddle, Helen’s service provided the children with the much needed help they required. Helen has since set up her Special Needs tutoring service in Moycullen and these parents continue to bring their children to see her. We have received very positive feedback from these parents.
Our team here in the Clann Resource centre feel this service is greatly needed in the local area and are happy to continue working with Helen and we wish her every success in the future.
Anne O’ Shaughnessy