Full Time Staff

Meet our team!

Program Director

Heidi Penrose

Heidi joined PALS in October 2017. She comes from the United States where she was a teacher and school administrator of children with ASD for over 25 + years. She holds a Masters degree from Purdue University in Special Education severe disabilities with a focus on assistive technology and augmentative communication. She holds a Masters degree in Applied Behaviour Analysis from Trinity College Dublin. She holds certification in TEACCH, Floortime/Greenspan as well as Mediation in Special Education, Picture Exchange Communication, Crisis Prevention Intervention Certification:ASD, First Aid, as well as various other certifications. She holds teaching licenses (Autism Education) for several U.S. states. Heidi joins Emily Furey (BCBA) in developing and facilitating Behaviour Support Plans to increase children’s functional behaviour and participation in the school day as well as facilitating home supports. She consults with Monika Ciemniewska and the Educational team to ensure each child’s individual program is running smoothly and effectively. Heidi conducts in house training for both staff and parents to ensure consistency across a child's life. She oversees all that happens at PALS Preschool. Heidi, along with Dr. Laura Gormley had their research “Training behavioural therapists in presession pairing skills to evaluate the impact on children’s life skill acquisition rates” published in the International Journal of Developmental Disabilities. 


Laura Conroy

The true heartbeat of PALS

Introducing Laura, an invaluable member of the PALS team since 2019. With her exceptional dedication and expertise, she has played a pivotal role in establishing our Hampton Wood location and ensuring the smooth day-to-day operations of our school. Laura's friendly and approachable nature makes her the first point of contact for parents and guardians, providing them with the support they need. Her unwavering commitment and willingness to assist are truly indispensable, as PALS simply could not thrive without her invaluable contributions.

Education Specialist 

Monika Ciemniewska

Monika graduated in Poland with an MA in Psychology, specialising in clinical psychology. She has been working with children with special needs and Autism for the past 15+ years. Monika along with Heidi and Dr. Laura Gormley have collaborated to create PALS assessment and curriculum. Monika oversees all curriculum and educational decisions for PALS and ensures that each child’s educational programs are tailored to their individual needs. Monika oversees all staff trainings and ensures that each staff member is proficient in the methodologies used at PALS. She, (along with her educational team), stays current with latest evidence based research and uses this information to make informed decisions regarding the educational direction of the school. She is certified in Paediatric first aid and in Child Protection. Monika is the assistant Child Protection Officer in PALS. As Education Specialist, Monika ensures that the children's lesson plans are being run correctly and that each child is moving on at an appropriate speed for them. Monika is currently undergoing a professional diploma in Mindfulness (MBSR/MBCT) and intends to use this to help create PALS emotional regulation program. 

Assistant Manager

Amanda Doherty

Amanda joined PALS in November 2011 and has been working with autistic children for over 10+ years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Maynooth University and holds her Masters in Psychology (Applied Behaviour Analysis) from Trinity College Dublin. From her masters degree, Amanda has specialised in the use of Picture Exchange Communication (PECS) amongst peers. Amanda has also completed training in First aid and training in assistive technologies such as Grid.


Amanda also conducts in house training for the staff of PALS Preschool. Amanda is here Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Behaviour Specialist 

Emily Furey

Emily joined the PALS team in November 2021. She has been working with autistic children for the past 6 years. Emily has an Arts degree in English and Linguistics from University College Dublin and holds her Masters in Applied Behaviour Analysis from Queen University. Emily is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) since 2021. Emily joins Heidi Penrose and Laura Ennis in developing and facilitating Behaviour Support plans to increase children's appropriate behaviour and participation in the school day. From her masters degree, Emily has a keen interest in the development of play programs. Emily has training in first aid and completed training in communication systems such as Grid and PECS.

Behavioural Support

Laura Ennis

Laura joined the PALS team in September 2021. Laura has BA in Psychology, and an M.Sc. in Applied Behaviour Analysis from Queens University Belfast. Laura has over four years experience working with children with ASD and/or global developmental delays from the ages of 3 to 11. 

Educational Support Assistant

Rachel Treacy

Rachel first came to PALS during her university internship in 2018. She then became a full time staff member in July 2020. Rachel has a B.Sc. in Education Studies from Marino. Rachel has recently completed training in TEACCH and Grid (assistive technology). She currently occupies a critical position in our overall educational strategy.

Educational Support

Amy Russell

Home Support Liason

Marilyn Langan

Technology Officer 💾

Alex Flood

Alex began his tenure with PALS Preschool in 2018 as part of the INTRA internship program at Dublin City University (DCU). By the end of 2020, he had transitioned to a full-time role as the Technology Officer. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from DCU and authored a distinguished thesis titled "Learning About the Brain Using Immersive Virtual Reality." In his role as Technology Officer, Alex is entrusted with a multifaceted set of technological responsibilities. He manages the utilization of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tools, oversees the technology integrated into our sensory rooms, directs our digital platforms and websites, and handles data analytics procedures. Additionally, he ensures the reliability and robustness of our security and access control systems.