Outdoor space transformed into lovely sensory garden
At the opening of the sensory space were Jennifer Darcy, Lisa Darcy, Emma Duffy and Grainne Tynan

Outdoor space transformed into lovely sensory garden

THE official opening of a sensory garden took place on Saturday at Knockmitten Community Centre.

Members of Clondalkin Autism Parents Support Network (CAPS), who used an indoor space at the centre for their weekly meetings, proposed the idea of transforming the outdoor space for all children in the community

The official launch took place during the annual family fun day at the centre, and saw a ribbon-cutting ceremony amid much excitement.

Grainne Tynan, a member of CAPS, said the idea for the space was accepted by the board at the centre, which will also manage the space.

“Any child can use it when the centre is open,” said Grainne.

“It is very small, but a lovely enclosed space. A lot of siblings whose brothers and sisters are attending services in the centre can have use of it while they wait, but children need to be supervised.”

CAPS was launched by local parents in February this year, their main aim is to improve the prospects for children with autism in the area.

The volunteer group will move to host monthly meetings at North Clondalkin Library from September.

“Demand wasn’t really there for once-a-week meetings, and everybody is volunteering their time,” said Grainne.

The group helps parents navigate, as best they can, the red tape, in order to try and access services for their children – albeit long waiting times are a blight on the State.

“It is very overwhelming for parents in the beginning,” said Grainne.

“There is a lot of paperwork and new services that parents have never heard of before. What is occupational therapy, some might say. A lot of parents aren’t getting enough sleep at night, but we hope the sensory garden can provide some respite.”

Grainne and CAPS thanked Knockmitten Community Centre, CORE building supplies for materials, Newlands Garden Centre for plants, and Clondalkin Mens Shed for providing most of the equipment, including a bench, for the sensory garden.

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