Getting Started with The Child Development Centre

“You see things; and say ‘why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘why not?’” – George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)

How to get started

How to get Started with CDC

Getting started is really very simple. The first step is to contact Donna, our Family Support Co-ordinator (FSC) with any concerns that you may have about your child and any questions in relation to our programmes and services.

If you are interested in proceeding with an assessment, an appointment will be organised with Donna.  Detailed listening and sensory questionnaires can then be downloaded from our website and returned to us prior to your assessment date.

The assessment can either take place in person if you are living in Ireland or by International Skype Consultation if you are living outside of Ireland.

The in-clinic assessment takes place over two hours with one of our senior speech and language therapists. This assessment will look at your child holistically, considering all the pieces of your child’s developmental jigsaw. Treatment recommendations will be made towards the end of the assessment process including advice on suitable specialist programmes and any referrals to other team members will be discussed.

You will leave the assessment with a clear understanding of what is happening for your child and how to move forward with their tailor-made treatment programme.


The Child Development Centre- Paediatric Speech and Language Therapy - Listening Therapy - Occupational Therapy - Biomedical Therapy - Craniosacral Therapy and Psychology - Specialists in Sensory Integration.

We look at your child as an individual with their own unique hopes, dreams and aspirations.

Therefore our assessment procedure is also unique: in addition to all the areas that other conventional speech and language therapists look at we also assess your child’s neurological development, their sensory processing abilities and their motor, social and emotional development.

We are interested in the whole picture of your child: their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

We believe that comprehensive assessment leads to highly effective multidisciplinary treatment to help your child achieve their potential.

We provide a two-hour assessment that looks primarily at your child’s speech, language and communication skills, sensory processing abilities, listening, attention and concentration skills.  In addition we look at your child’s motor, social and academic abilities. We look at where your child is currently functioning but we can also see clearly what they could achieve with the correct interventions.

We identify all of the pieces of the jigsaw that are impacting on your child’s development and as a result we make recommendations for referral to other clinicians within the centre where a child may require input from occupational therapy, psychology, general practitioner, nutritionist or a medical homeopath.

All of the services that your child requires are available under one roof at The Child Development Centre.

Each assessment involves detailed discussions with parents who we consider to be the real experts when it comes to their child.

We are not interested in ticking boxes, listing symptoms or applying labels but we are interested in your child, their skills and abilities and in identifying the cause of their current challenges so that we can create the most effective treatment programme.

Our experience has shown that comprehensive assessment is the key to unlocking each child’s potential.

Our assessment process is quite different from others as we provide a treatment programme at the end of the initial assessment to enable families to get started immediately. Many families have been on waiting lists with public services for months and possibly years and we believe that treatment needs to start straight away.

Your child’s ability to process sensory information within the brain at the brainstem level lays the neurological foundation for the development of higher cognitive functions such as fine and gross motor skills, speech and language skills, social skills and ultimately learning ability.

By assessing children in this way we are able to identify the critical areas that are causing difficulty.

Please take a look at our listening checklist and sensory checklist to see whether your child may have a listening or a sensory processing challenge that is causing or contributing to their speech, language or other challenges.

Visit our download section to download PDF form

Sensory Checklist

Please tick as many statements on the Sensory Checklist as you feel are appropriate for your child. This will give you more information about the specific sensory areas which may be a challenge for your child. These can then be discussed in more detail with your therapist at assessment so that recommendations can be made to resolve them.

Auditory Sense


(A)   Is startled or distressed by loud noises

(B)   Covers ears with hands for certain sounds/noises

(C)   Dislikes certain low frequency sounds e.g., hairdryer, hand dryer, food mixer


(D)   Finds it difficult to work with  background noise

(E)   Appears to not hear what you say

(F)   Has difficulty paying attention

(G)   Has difficulty following instructions

Touch Sense


(A)   Regularly becomes upset during grooming i.e., washing, hair brushing

(B)   Can overreact to touch

(C)   Resists cuddling, pulls away from touch


(D)   Enjoys crashing and bumping into objects and people

(E)   Constantly touches people and objects

(F)   Seems unaware when face and hands are messy

Movement Sense


(A)     Can become upset when moving or during movement experiences

(B)     Fears of heights and of falling

(C)     Becomes upset or sick when traveling in the car


(D)     Constantly moving or running about

(E)     Moves so much that it interferes with other activities

(F)     Finds it difficult to concentrate because of need to move

Taste Sense


(A)     Avoids certain food tastes or textures

(B)     Dislikes brushing teeth

(C)     Could be described as a picky eater


(A)     Enjoys foods that you wouldn’t expect e.g., sour, bitter, spicy

(B)     Likes to chew on non-food items

(C)     Is unaware of food or liquid on his face

Body Sense

(A)     Becomes tired easily

(B)     Poor endurance

(C)     Has a weak grasp

(D)     Seeks lots of rough ‘n’ tumble play

(E)     Poor articulation

Visit our download section to download PDF form

Listening Checklist

Listening skills are not something that we can see, they are difficult to assess. This checklist offers a catalogue of skills and behaviors that will enable you to assess your child’s listening skills.

Receptive Listening

This is listening which is directed outward. It keeps us attuned to the world around us, to what’s going on at home, at work or in the classroom.

  • short attention span
  • easily distracted from a task
  • misinterpretation of questions
  • confusion of similar sounding words
  • frequent need for repetition
  • inability to follow a series of instructions

Expressive Listening

This is listening that is directed within. We use it to control our voice when we speak and sing and our eyes when we read or write.

  • flat and monotonous voice
  • hesitant speech
  • weak vocabulary
  • poor sentence structure
  • overuse of stereotyped expressions
  • inability to sing in tune
  • confusion or reversal of letters
  • difficulty with reading
  • poor spelling
  • poor motor Skills

The ear is not just for listening

The ear also controls balance, co-ordination and body image, and needs close attention.

  • poor posture
  • fidgety behavior
  • clumsy, uncoordinated movement
  • poor sense of rhythm
  • messy handwriting
  • hard time with organization, structure
  • confusion of left and right
  • mixed dominance
  • poor sport skills

Protection Issues

Listening is also the ability to leave out, or protect ourselves from “noise”, the information we don’t need. Difficulty at that level is often related to behavioral and social adjustment issues.

  • oversensitivity to sound
  • low tolerance or frustration
  • poor self-confidence
  • poor self-image
  • difficulty making friends
  • tendency to withdraw, avoid others
  • irritability
  • immaturity
  • negative attitude toward school/work

The Level of Energy

The sensory system, and the ear in particular, are most instrumental in providing and regulating the energy we need to lead harmonious and fulfilling lives.

  • difficulty getting up
  • tiredness at the end of the day
  • habit of procrastinating
  • hyperactivity
  • tendency toward depression
  • feeling overburdened with everyday tasks
  • low motivation, lack of drive

Developmental History

This knowledge sheds light on the possible causes of a listening problem.

  • stressful pregnancy
  • difficult birth
  • adoption
  • early separation
  • delay in motor development
  • delay in language development
  • recurring ear infections

Copyright Paul Madaule 1993, 2007

Visit our download section to download PDF form


Under 3yr old downloads

Pre-School Questionnaire

Personal History

Speech and Language Questionnaire

4 -12yr old downloads

Listening Questionnaire

Personal History Questionnaire

Speech and Language Questionnaire

Sensory Profile Questionnaire

13 -18yr old downloads

Listening Questionnaire

Personal History Questionnaire