Careers rarely develop the way we plan them. Our career path often takes many twists and turns, with particular events, choices and people influencing our direction.

We asked Tomas Flanagan from St. Michael's House to give some advice for people considering this job:


Tomas Flanagan

Occupational Therapist

St. Michael's House

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  Tomas Flanagan

I would advise anyone interested in Occupational Therapy to read up on the profession or else try to meet a qualified Occupational Therapist and talk to them about their work.

The internet can be a great resource in getting information. Also information from the universities might indicate if this is a course that is suited to you. A lot of the course work relies on you being a self-directed learner. This makes the course different to other more mainstream/academic courses as the onus is on the student to complete a lot of work independently.

As this is a caring profession an interest in working with people is a must. You also need to be a good communicator as you will be working closely with clients, families and other staff on an ongoing basis.

Organisational skills are essential to enable you to manage a caseload.


Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalists interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results, and prefer action to talking and discussing.
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Extra Resource Hours for Pupils with Mild Down Syndrome Announced

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Extra Resource Hours for Pupils with Mild Down Syndrome Announced

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 

Extra Resource Hours for Pupils with Mild Down Syndrome Announced

The allocation of extra resource hours for pupils with ‘mild’ Down syndrome has been announced -  2.5 resource hours per child is good news but ‘doesn’t go far enough’, says Down Syndrome Ireland.

Making the announcement, Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan said that the government has agreed that additional resources will be allocated to schools as an interim measure to support those children with Down syndrome, who are not already supported through the National Council for Special Education’s (NCSE) annual allocation process.

A joint statement from Pat Clarke, CEO Down Syndrome Ireland and Mary Doherty, Chairperson Down Syndrome Ireland says that the announcement brings to an end a “10-year battle”, but does not go far enough.

“Today’s announcement brings to an end a 10-year battle that families have endured and fought so desperately to highlight and change. The unjust situation brought unnecessary stress, pressure and trauma on families and today’s decision, whereby now all children with Down syndrome with intellectual disabilities have access to resource hours, goes some way to alleviating that.

Down Syndrome Ireland "welcome the decision as an interim measure pending the overall roll-out of the new and so desperately-needed model of resource hour allocation for children with education needs which the Government has promised for September 2015. “However, today’s announcement does not go far enough. A recognition of Down syndrome as a disability in its entirety, by the Department of Education would have spared our children and their families the continued trauma and expense of assessments, a system based more on bureaucracy rather than reality and logic.”

They called on the government to provide for all people with disabilities.

Source: Down Syndrome Ireland Press Release

The CareersPortal Team