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Neuro-spectacular! and more fun neurodiverse events


With so many fun, free and creative events taking place around the country for Cruinniú na nÓg 2023 on June 10, let’s shine a spotlight on some of the events specifically tailored to the enjoyment of neurodivergent children and young people.

The term ‘neurodiversity’ is used to describe differences in the way that people’s brains work and difference is, of course, something to celebrate.

As people experience and interact with the world around them in many different ways, there is no one right way of thinking, learning, or behaving. Just some of the conditions that fall within the spectrum of neurodiversity include ADHD, Autism, Down Syndrome, Dyspraxia, Dyslexia, and Dyscalculia.

Taking place for Cruinniú na nÓg on June 10 and also on July 1, Neuro-spectacular! is a creative workshop programme at Dublin’s Hugh Lane Gallery for families who have one or more children who are neurodiverse. 

Working with one family at a time over two 45-minute sessions, in advance of the workshop the team discusses with the family the nature of the neurodivergent child’s needs and their own unique interests. Using this information, each workshop is completely tailored to the child and family – families can include parents/guardians/caregivers and children, while other family members interested in taking part, such as grandparents, are more than welcome too. 

Led by artist Helen Barry, one of the Hugh Lane Gallery’s panel of professional artists and guides, the workshop team have also consulted with actor, playwright and writer Jody O’Neill, who is experienced in creating work for neurodiverse audiences. 

Something she considers her greatest accomplishment, Jody describes seeking and obtaining her own diagnosis of autism at the age of 39 as an overwhelmingly positive experience – “Recognising my disability has transformed every aspect of my professional and personal life.”

Participation at the workshops is free but places are very limited, find out more: Neuro-spectacular! | June 10 & July 1

At Perrystown Community Centre, Dublin 12, the Sensory Circus is coming to town! Specifically created for neurodivergent children but inclusive of any child with additional needs, Sensory Circus is a day of circus and dance workshops curated by Doulab.

Set to provide a unique opportunity for the young residents of the Perrystown area to get involved in free, creative workshops in contemporary circus, movement and music, the day will include creative juggling and manipulation, contemporary group acrobatic disciplines, stilt-walking, music and much more.

Suitable for ages 7-12, find out more: Create with Circus! Sensory Circus | June 10

A creative art workshop that’s fully inclusive of all children but especially welcoming to those who are neurodiverse, Messy Art with Laura & Lucinda takes place at Dún Laoghaire’s LexIcon. Come along to freestyle paint your own work of art on canvas and explore colourful and exciting textures to make creations with clay, bubble wrap and slime. 

An area will be set up on the day with a selection of sensory toys and equipment. Should children need time to self-regulate, there will be space and time to do so. 

Find out more: Messy Art with Laura & Lucinda

At Samuel Beckett Civic Campus, Dublin 18, Creative Play with Active Kids Academy’s drop-in session focuses on creativity and imagination through fine motor skills activities and play. 

A neurodiverse-inclusive event with a selection of sensory toys and equipment available should children need time to self-regulate, expect peg boards, squidgies and magnets to entice young minds to build, create and explore. Children are welcome to work individually or in groups.

Find out more: Creative Play with Active Kids Academy | June 10

Children aged 5-12 and their adults will enjoy creative dance, body puzzles, tactile play, partner work, body stories, and much more at Move n’ Groove: Neurodiverse-Friendly Workshops

Taking place on Samuel Beckett Green at Samuel Beckett Civic Campus, Dublin 18, there are two sessions, 12.30pm and 1.30pm. A family-friendly and neurodiverse-inclusive event, don’t miss this wonderful opportunity to experience creativity and playful connection as a family. Prepare to untangle your body and mind as you learn new skills for family self-care and emotional regulation. 

Find out more: Workshop 1 and Workshop 2 | June 10

Discover hundreds more fun, free events taking place for Cruinniú na nÓg!

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