Learn about our Therapists

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.