Our Team

Who’s who at The Stepping Ahead Clinic

Continuing Professional Development is very important at the Stepping Ahead Clinic and we continuously undergo further training and development courses both in Ireland and the UK. All our Therapists have completed postgraduate training in sensory integration and use a sensory integration approach in their interventions were appropriate.

Furthermore, the Occupational Therapists have training in many postgraduate courses, including The Alert Program, Handwriting without Tears, Therapeutic Listening, Floor Time and Baby Sense. All therapists are members of the Association of Occupational Therapy Ireland and regularly participate in research projects and training of Occupational Therapy students from University College Cork, University of Limerick,  and international universities.

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Jennifer Dennehy BSc (Hons) OT, MAOTI

Owner & Practice Manager Senior Occupational Therapist.

Jennifer has over twenty years of clinical experience in Occupational Therapy services in Ireland, the UK and New Zealand. She is passionate about providing an excellent standard of service to children, adolescents and their families and has a special interest in Autism and Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Jennifer is actively involved in educating and training school staff and organisations on the importance of Occupational Therapy and how to recognise and support a child with developmental difficulties. Jennifer has also previously lectured in the Occupational Therapy Department at the University College Cork and has presented at conferences throughout Cork. Furthermore, Jennifer has been involved in developing therapeutic and sensory rooms in many Cork schools and homes.

Cliona O'Donovan, Bsc (Hons) SLT, MIASLT

Speech and Language Therapist

Cliona is the Speech and Language Therapist on our team. She has experience working with a variety

of client groups including children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Specific Language Impairment,

and speech sound disorders. Cliona is committed to providing high standards of practice and often

takes part in continuing professional development courses, including Hanen “It takes two to talk”,

paediatric hearing screening, and dysphagia to name but a few. She has a special interest in speech

sound disorders and has published research in this area. She enjoys working with clients of all ages,

from toddlers to young adults and their families. Whether it’s for a screening, speech or language

assessment, or effective evidence-based therapeutic intervention Cliona will be delighted to look after

all of your child’s speech and language needs.

Seamus O’Connor, BSc. (Hons) Health, Fitness and Leisure Studies

Paediatric Fitness Trainer

Seamus has extensive experience of working with children and adolescents with health, learning or developmental difficulties and has worked throughout Munster and has also written articles on his area of expertise. Seamus is the creator of a specialised Paediatric Fitness Programme, designed to meet the needs of children and adolescents with developmental difficulties. Seamus has vast experience in adapted physical activity for children and is passionate about the role of fitness training in the lives of all children. Seamus regards development of social skills and ‘having fun’ as very important aspects of his sessions. Seamus can break down activities such as Gaelic football, hurling, riding a bike etc. which children with developmental difficulties find too difficult when they attend mainstream school or training sessions.

Miriam McAuliffe, BSc. Applied Social Studies, IACP

Counselling & Therapeutic Support Services

Miriam is an accredited counsellor with over ten years of professional experience and practice. She is dedicated to working with and supporting children and their families. She is committed to helping children and parents manage and overcome life’s challenges. Miriam also offers specific life skills to children and adolescents with social skill challenges, developing self esteem and anger management. Miriam is also an accredited facilitator of the Parents Plus Programme and runs these both at the clinic or schools or services in the community when requested.

Alison Daly

Receptionist/PA for Jennifer Dennehy/ Lenny Twomey

Alison has been helping our clients for over 5 years now since she joined us in 2010 and will be your first point of contact when you call, email or arrive at the clinic. Alison is very friendly, bubbly and always available to talk to, and help our clients.

Whether you need a single appointment or a block of appointments Alison will be happy to accommodate you.

Sarah Kennigton

Senior Occupational Therapist

Coming Soon

Ann Dunne

Occupational Therapist

Ann graduated with a degree in Health Promotion in 2009. She then went on to study Occupational

Therapy in University of Limerick. Since graduating as an Occupational Therapist in 2012, Ann has

worked solely with children and teenagers. Ann has a particular interest in Sensory Integration and

the use of this approach in facilitating positive development for children. Ann has recently

completed her module 1 postgraduate training in Sensory Integration and has been utilising this

knowledge into her practice through implementation of programs such as the Alert Program and

Zones of Regulation. Ann is passionate about delivering a quality service to children and their

families, aiming to provide ongoing training and support to key individuals in the child’s life. Ann

aims to implement evidence based programs and interventions into her practice at all times and is

committed to continuing her professional development.

Aisling Deasy

Occupational Therapist

Having trained as an Occupational Therapist in the University College Cork, Aisling is knowledgeable on the most contemporary practices in Occupational Therapy.

Aisling is recognised by her bright but gentle approach to Occupational Therapy service provision to children. She has broad experience working with children and has worked with young adults with mental health difficulties.

Aisling has a particular interest in working with adolescents of post-primary school age and is passionate in the area of mental health promotion. Aisling adopts a holistic approach to her work and strives to design intervention sessions that are fun, engaging and meaningful to the child. She adapts and grades activities to ensure that they have the ‘just right challenge’ for each individual.

Aisling is committed to providing best practice and is actively involved in continuing her professional development.

Jess Kennedy

Occupational Therapist

Jess is an Occupational Therapist working on our team.

Jess graduated from University College Cork in June 2013. While studying in UCC, she received the Dr. H. H. Stewart Medical Scholarship from the University of Ireland and an Undergraduate Award for the ‘Social Innovation’ category. After graduation, she moved to Australia where she worked in private paediatric practices in Melbourne and Brisbane. Jess is dedicated to providing high standards of practice and regularly attends professional development courses including DIR Floortime Training, Traffic Jam in my Brain, The Alert Program and Fun Friends/Friends for Life. She has a keen interest in developing coping and resilience skills in children and developing their confidence through play. Jess has recently published her research on adolescent’s social participation in online environments in The Journal of Occupational Science.