Learn about our Therapists

Eileen O’Donnell

Supervising Senior Speech and Language Therapist

Eileen O’Donnell, Senior Speech & Language Therapist, B.A., H.Dip., M.Sc.

Eileen qualified from the University of Limerick with a Masters (Hons) in Speech and Language Therapy, having previously obtained a B.A. in Sociology and Psychology from University College Cork and a H.Dip in Linguistics from University College Dublin. Over the last number of years, Eileen has worked with children, with a wide range of difficulties including Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, speech sound disorders, language impairments, ADHD and physical and intellectual disabilities. She has also worked with adults with voice disorders, stammer and communication and feeding difficulties. As part of her role as a Speech & Language Therapist with Voices for Down Syndrome Galway, Eileen works closely with the children, their families, carers and teachers to help maximise communication in everyday environments.

Eileen has additional professional training including Làmh, Hanen, DIR Floortime, PECS, Derbyshire Language Scheme, Speech Sound Disorder & Children with Intellectual Disability and Assessment and Treatment of Childhood Apraxia of Speech Workshop. She is also a full member of the Irish Association of Speech & Language Therapists (IASLT) and a member of the Down Syndrome Ireland SIG, Augmentative & Alternative Communication SIG and the Specific Speech & Language Impairment & Bilingualism SIG.

Brid McAndrew

Speech and Language Therapist

Prior to completing a M.Sc. in Childhood Speech Language and Communication Needs, Bríd completed her undergraduate B.Sc. in Speech and Language Therapy at NUI Galway.

Bríd has experience working with children, teenagers and adults with complex speech language and
communication needs, including children with Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, developmental language disorder, speech sound disorders, fluency disorders and acquired communication and swallowing disorders.

Bríd has a special interest in research co-authored a publication in the Journal of Communication Disorders entitled “She didn’t have a word of English, we didn’t have a word of Vietnamese”, exploring parent experiences of communication with toddlers who were adopted internationally.

Bríd submitted her MSc dissertation in September 2017 - investigating the representation of and terminology used to refer to children and young people with disabilities in Irish newspapers.

Bríd has attended many CPD courses since graduating including Hanen It Takes Two to Talk, DIR Floortime, Evidence Based Practice for School Aged Children with Developmental Language Disorder, Issues in the Assessment and Management of Feeding Difficulties in Babies and Children, Talking Mats, Lámh Module 1, Lámh QQI Level 5 Using Lanh in a Total Communication Approach, Paediatric
Feeding Difficulties in Children with Autism with Dr. Keith Williams and the Down syndrome Research Forum. Recently Bríd facilitated a Hanen training programme in collaboration with a local Early Intervention service.
As well as being CORU registered, Bríd is also a member of the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists, Down Syndrome Ireland Special Interest Group, Paediatric FEDS Special Interest Group and the Developmental Language Disorder Special Interest Group.

Margaret Farrell

Consultant Speech and Language Therapist

Margaret completed her under-graduate training in Trinity College, Dublin in 1982 and received her Post-Grad from the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists for Clinical Specialisation in Intellectual Disability. She completed her Masters in Universtiy College London in Human Communication with research in conversational repair strategies with children with Down Syndrome in conversations with mothers, and received an MA from UCD in Health Service Management.

Margaret has worked in health and education in Ireland and Canada for over 30 years in a variety of roles, as a practising SLT (speech language therapist) in disability, autism and other services, mainstream and special settings, all ages and levels of intellectual disability, as SLT Manager, Clinical Manager, managing National Quality of Life survey of people with disabilities project. She joined Voices for Down Syndrome Galway in February 2011. Margaret also works with Down Syndrome Ireland, Kildare Branch.

"I am passionate about promotion of effective and functional communication with people with intellectual disabilities, supporting people to exercise their right to be heard, to enable them to be confident in making their voices heard in their communities - be it in the playground, classroom, shop, restaurant, with friends and family, workplace, college and so on. While speech is the preferred means of communication in our world - and always the primary aim of speech and language therapy, other means are also valid and accepted ways of getting your message across - such as writing, natural gesture, formal sign, pictures, photos and symbols, text messages, skyping, iPod/iPad etc. If we don’t know the language in another country, we all find ways to get our message across.

I always strive to work in collaboration with the person with the communication need, that is, with the child/young person and their whole family, with the adult directly, and with the person‘s consent I link with supporting the person in school, work, training centres, other SLT’s and clinical people. It is important to work together in goal setting and working on agreed targets together, in various realistic settings, which will always include ‘homework’ too! We also need to evaluate ‘how things are going’. The clinical setting is an an artificial setting and in order to make real progress in communication, the skill must be practised regularly and used in real ordinary places - at home, in the playground, work place etc."

Continuing Training & Seminars : Recent seminars run by Down Syndrome Ireland on Core Vocabulary, Auditory Bombardment, Augmentative Communication Seminar and Update, Down Syndrome World Congress, IASSID, Speech Processing, ASHA Convention.

Affiliations : Member of Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists, the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists, Secretary of Outcomes Network of Ireland, Board Member of LAMH Signing System, LAMH Tutor, member of Special Interest Groups of people with Down Syndrome, Children with Intellectual Disabilities, and Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. CORU registered.

Mari Caulfield

Speech and Language Therapist and Trainer

Mari Caulfield is a Speech and Language Therapist and Trainer with over 35 years experience in the areas of Down Syndrome, Speech and language disorders, Developmental delays and disorders, General disability, and Autism. Mari offers regular training with Parent groups & New Parents of children with Down syndrome, in the area of early development, LAMH, communication, language and literacy.

Mari is a member of the Irish Association of Speech and Language Therapists, Irish Association of Speech and Language therapists in Private Practice, Royal college of Speech and Language Therapists, UK, and is registered by the Health Professional Council (HPC) in UK. Together with ongoing specialized speech and language professional trainings, Mari has also trained in the areas of Montessori, Psychotherapy, Sensory integration, Early Childhood and Infancy Training and Infant mental health.

Mari has worked in a variety of clinical and management roles in the HSE and Voluntary bodies in Ireland. Working collaboratively with team members, including other therapists, medical professionals, educators and parents, Mari encourages the sharing of experience and expertise amongst team members to ensure optimum quality of intervention for the child and family.

Mari lectures at NUI Galway courses: Speech and Language Therapy and Clinical Psychology, and offers annual training with the Department of Education Special Education Support Service (SESS), Down Syndrome Ireland & teaches with Sensory Connections in Asia and Australia annually, in the area of developmental intervention and support.

Mari’s work with Voices for Down Syndrome Galway includes her service to Little Owls early intervention group for the past 19 years. She has been working with Community Nurses from Early Intervention, Brothers of Charity, in support of children in Little Owls partnership. She also supports regular clinical professional development for therapists within Voices for Down Syndrome Galway.