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MDT Services

The Sunflower Clinic has established a very experienced multi-disciplinary team (MDT) to provide an assessment and diagnostic service for children with suspected Autism Spectrum Disorder.

The MDT brings different therapeutic disciplines (Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy and Psychology) together to provide an international best practice standard for the assessment and diagnosis of Autism.

The Sunflower Clinic MDT has established a clinically recognised Assessment and Diagnostic pathway designed to provide a validated diagnosis of Autism.

What is Autism? – Click Here

Diagnostic Pathway – Click Here

Julie O’Sullivan BSc. Occupational Therapy, MSc. Sensory Integration, MAOTI

Head Occupational Therapist, Clinical Manager

Julie is the head Occupational Therapist and founder of The Sunflower Clinic with over 25 years experience in paediatrics.  Julie has completed her Masters in Sensory Integration,  is an Advanced Practitioner in Sensory Integration and has extensive experience of working with children with ASD in the UK and Ireland.  Whilst in the UK, Julie helped to set up a private – parent-led project “The Bridge Group” to provide therapeutic services for childern with ASD.  Julie is trained in the ADOS-2, ADI-R and the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development assessment tools, which are specific standardised tools used in the assessment and diagnosis of Autism.  Julie also started the first summer camps specifically for children on the ASD sepctrum, again using an MDT model.  Julie has also led the team in providing Occupational Therapy services for ASD groups including the HSE, The Brothers of Charity, Enable Ireland, Hope Montessori Autism Care Centre and several ASD units attached to primary and secondary schools in Munster and Leinster.

Sheila Cummins B.A. Mod., H. Dip. Ed. (Primary), M.A. Ed. Psych.

Educational Psychologist

Sheila completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology and French from Trinity College, Dublin in 2002. She achieved a Higher Diploma in Primary Education with Froebel College of Education, now part of NUI Maynooth, qualifying as a primary school teacher in 2004. She worked as a classroom teacher and a resource teacher for four years. Sheila then completed a Masters degree in Educational Psychology in University College Dublin, qualifying as an Educational Psychologist in 2010.

Prior to joining the Sunflower Clinic, Sheila worked in St. John of God Disability Services, Kildare, where she provided psychological services and positive behaviour support to children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities and autism. She also worked in the North Kildare HSE Early Intervention Services. As part of her work, she specialised in autism assessment and intervention, intellectual disability diagnosis and intervention, and positive behaviour support. She is trained as a Parents Plus facilitator and has delivered parenting interventions and parenting groups. Sheila is a member of the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) and a member of the PSI Autism Special Interest group.  In addition to working in the Sunflower Clinic, Sheila is a busy parent to three young children.


Aileen O’Brien, BSc. (Hons) Speech and Language Therapy

Senior Speech and Language Therapist

Aileen is a Senior Paediatric Speech and Language Therapist who has recently joined the Sunflower Clinic team. Since graduating from University College Cork in 2009, she has worked in a variety of paediatric settings including preschools, schools, private practice and disability services in Ireland and Australia.  Aileen has extensive experience helping children develop their language and social interaction skills, and is passionate about doing so using naturalistic, relationship-based approaches such as DIR Floortime therapy in her work. She has undergone training in the ‘Hanen – More Than Words’ language program, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), and the SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding.

Aileen is also trained in ‘1 2 3 Magic and Emotional Coaching’, an approach which provides parents with strategies they can use to encourage positive behaviour as well as manage challenging behaviour.  Aileen has completed the ADOS-2 training programme in TCD and has over  6 years’ experience of working with children on the ASD spectrum.  Aileen feels strongly about working with families and empowering parents to best understand their child’s development, so that they can feel confident about how to help their child at home.


Elaine Hourihane B.A. Applied Psychology, H. Dip. Ed. (Primary), M.A. Ed. Psych.

Elaine graduated from UCC with a degree in Applied Psychology and then went on to complete her H.Dip and Masters in Educational Psychology at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick.  Elaine has worked as a primary school substitute teacher, a Learning Support and Resource Teacher for a school in Cork and now works part time for a Cork charity as part of a multi-disciplinary team dealing with children with a range of developmental needs including those on the ASD spectrum.  Elaine has completed the training for the ASD-specific assessments ADOS-2, ADI-R and also the Griffths Mental developmental scales.


Juanita O’Reagan, BSc. Occupational Therapy
Senior Occupational Therapist

Juanita graduated from the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa in 2006 with a Bsc (Hon) O.T.   She has over 10 years’ experience working in the field of Paediatrics and has worked for a number of services including private practice, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and CoAction. While in CoAction, Juanita was employed as the Head of Service for the Occupational Therapy Department. As part of her clinical role she worked as a member of the Progressive Disability team in Clonakilty and provided an OT service for children presenting with complex developmental needs.  Additionally, she was involved in caseload management, service management, risk assessment and supervision of Basic Grade therapists. Juanita has a keen interest in continuing professional development and has undergone training in Sensory Integration, visual perception, SOS feeding, DIR floortime and ABLE training for relation based brief interventions. Juanita has a special interest in providing early intervention for children presenting with complex developmental needs and has extensive experience in this area. Juanita works Tuesday-Thursday 7:30- 18:00 in the Cork Clinic.