Connacht Tribune journalist Bernie Ní Fhlatharta interviewed Karen O’Connor about the launch of Opening Your Mind and how she hopes to support parents experiencing challenges with their children with her videos.
First published on November 28, 2019, https://connachttribune.ie/making-waves-to-reach-potential/
Making waves to reach potential
Galway pioneer shares her experience – to help families bridge communication gap.
Parenting is not easy at the best of times – but it’s considerably more challenging if your child has a complex communication need, such as autism or other developmental disorders on the spectrum.
The reality is that autism (ASD) was practically unheard of a few generations ago – but it is now a widely diagnosed syndrome, alongside others like dyspraxia and similar conditions.
One Galway-based speech and language therapist has developed a way of reaching out to families who are living with autism and similar disorders by sharing her experience via YouTube videos.
The Openingyourmind.com channel is the first of its kind in the world in the area of child development, so parents can learn what to do with the child with sensory, speech, language, communication and/or learning difficulties.
Karen O’Connor, a speech and language therapist and director of services at the Child Development Centre in Galway and Dublin, appreciates the frustration experienced by parents trying to understand what is happening with their child and how best to deal with communication, sensory or learning difficulties.
Karen runs a very busy clinic and, rather than have families waiting for therapy, she wants to share her knowledge and experience through her series of videos to help parents help their child get started today at home.
These videos show parents how to get started straight away at home to help their children begin to achieve their true potential.
Karen has not only gained experience through her 20 year career both in the public and private sector, but has travelled the world investigating the most effective approaches that are impacting on the neuroplasticity of the brain. She has combined the best of these techniques with speech and language therapy techniques so that children can achieve the best results in the shortest time period.
There are lots of free material for parents and teachers on the channel but there are also four programmes available for families to buy to start working with their child at home today.
Each programme is a compilation of nine videos that she has created for families which is the equivalent of six sessions with a speech and language therapist.
“I wanted to keep the cost right down so that all families no matter what their situation could afford to buy it,” says Karen, a Donegal native who has lived and practised as a speech and language therapist in Furbo for over 15 years.
Each programme tackles a different aspect — with titles like Does my child really have autism (ASD)? How to help a child with dyspraxia achieve their greatest potential; Is auditory processing disorder (APD) really for life? and How to help a child with sensory processing disorder (SPD) really achieve their potential.
She has interviewed some of the world’s leading experts in the field of child development and these too will be made available on the channel.