About Spectrum Training


Special Needs Assistants Group is a group which aims to provide on-going professional development and training for Special Needs Assistants. We aim to deliver courses and seminars throughout Ireland, and have one Annual Conference each year.

Parents, teachers and other professionals also find our seminars and conferences of great interest and benefit, and regularly attend. We aim to expand our repertoire and access base, to be more inclusive of adults seeking information and understanding of children with all special needs.

We therefore welcome any parent, teacher or preschool professional who would wish to attend seminars, workshops or conferences, as well as SNAs.

Maria Dollard

Maria is co-director of SNA Group Ltd. She began working as a tutor in the area of adult education in 1990 with Limerick VEC. She currently works with Kilkenny and South Tipperary VEC where she teaches on Childcare and Healthcare courses, including Special Needs, Special Needs Assisting and Disability Studies modules.

Maria is also the mother of a young lady with autism. She participated in the DES video and DVD “An Introduction to Autism” and “Teacher’s Toolkit” distributed to all schools in Ireland. Since 2002, Maria has served on the Board of Directors of the Irish Society for Autism, and was instrumental in setting up the first Autism Family Support Group in Kilkenny in 1999.

Karen Lowther

Karen is co-director of SNA Group Ltd. Karen has been teaching in a school for children with Emotional and Behavioural Disturbance and children with ASD for over 15 years. She has had extensive experience in the implementation of TEACCH and structured teaching, IABA, ABA, Multi-sensory integration and DIR Floortime in the classroom. She has been involved in adult education for many years through presentations at seminars, conferences and workshops.