13 episodes

Karen O’Connor is a consultant speech & language therapist with over 20 years experience working with children with complex communication needs and developmental challenges.  
Over the years, Karen has undergone considerable post-graduate training in many areas including advanced studies in sensory integration, the LiFT™ programme, the Therapeutic Listening™ programme, the Advanced Therapeutic Listening™ programme, Floortime, Talktools, and many more.

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The Karen O’Connor Podcast - OpeningYourMind.com Karen O'Connor

    • Kids & Family

Karen O’Connor is a consultant speech & language therapist with over 20 years experience working with children with complex communication needs and developmental challenges.  
Over the years, Karen has undergone considerable post-graduate training in many areas including advanced studies in sensory integration, the LiFT™ programme, the Therapeutic Listening™ programme, the Advanced Therapeutic Listening™ programme, Floortime, Talktools, and many more.

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Meet the Experts: Dr. William Shaw – PhD Board Certified in Clinical Chemistry & Toxicology

    Meet the Experts: Dr. William Shaw – PhD Board Certified in Clinical Chemistry & Toxicology

    Karen has travelled from Dublin to Toronto to London to meet with people who have worked tirelessly to find new ways of treating children with sensory difficulties.
    Dr. William Shaw, PhD, is an American chemist, autism researcher and the founder and director of the Great Plains Laboratory, based in Lenexa, Kansas. 
    William Shaw, is board certified in the fields of clinical chemistry and toxicology by the American Board of Clinical Chemistry. Before he founded The Great Plains Laboratory, Inc., 
    Dr. Shaw worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Children’s Mercy Hospital, University of Missouri at Kansas City School of Medicine, and Smith Kline Laboratories. He is the author of Biological Treatments for Autism and PDD, originally published in 1998 and Autism: Beyond the Basics, published in 2009. He is also a frequent speaker at conferences worldwide.

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    • 28 min
    Meet the Parents: Diane's Story

    Meet the Parents: Diane's Story

    Diane details her daughter’s diagnosis with ASD and working with the LiFT programme delivered by Karen O’ Connor.
    At 14 months her daughter, Rosalie started to regress in terms of speech. After observing her over the course of a few weeks, they noticed she stopped showing interest in playing with other children and then stopped talking and walking completely. When diagnosed with ASD it was a shock to Diane’s family as her daughter had met every milestone previously. 
    After an assessment with Karen O’ Connor, Diane’s daughter started therapeutic listening for 20-25 mins per day and because of this, her child’s life has changed. 
    Diane speaks about how Karen’s approach is different and how it has helped her daughter concentrate better, her comprehension has improved, she has different sounds and words, her balance and coordination have improved, her motor skills, sleeping pattern and appetite too.
    Combining listening therapy and the Brushing programme has really helped Rosalie in a short period of time and the results are evident.
    Diane highly recommends these proven home programmes and believes music works from the inside out and speech and language therapy works from the outside in. 

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    • 14 min
    Meet the Parents: Helen's Story

    Meet the Parents: Helen's Story

    Helen discusses her experience introducing her son to Karen O’Connor’s Pieces of the Jigsaw programme and the support Karen provided from the start.
    Helen speaks about her son, Bruce who was born prematurely and had a very difficult start in life. Bruce was a very anxious and uneasy baby and wasn’t hitting his development milestones. 
    After seeing specialists, ophthalmologists and undergoing various tests, between 12-18 months Helen knew things with her son weren’t improving and it wasn’t just him down to him being born prematurely.
    His speech was delayed and didn’t speak until 27 months and he wasn’t doing the things he should be doing at his age.    
    Before his third birthday, Bruce was diagnosed with autism which was devastating for his family. After exhausting many routes for help and guidance for Bruce, Helen was put in contact with Karen O’ Connor. After the first assessment with Karen, Helen says how she felt hopeful about her son for the first time. 
    Karen educated her on how to manage Bruce and introduced her to floortime strategies, the Hannon approach etc. They started seeing results. The next big move was with therapeutic listening. Helen began to see real changes. He became calmer, his eye contact and his motivation to speak both improved. The programme is still ongoing.
    Helen explains the impact that Karen O’ Connor’s programme had on herself and her son.
    The results are life-changing.

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    • 37 min
    Meet the Parents: Patricia's Story

    Meet the Parents: Patricia's Story

    Listen to Patricia discuss her and her son’s experience with Karen O’Connor and her Pieces of the Jigsaw programme.
    Patricia’s son visited Karen O’ Connor when he was six years old with disfluency issues which were brought to her attention by his school teacher. 
    Patricia’s main concern was his fluency or what she knew at the time being referred to as a stammer. He couldn’t get out his words even though she knew what he was trying to say.  
    After visiting the university’s Speech and Language department the advice given wasn’t helpful and that’s when Patricia decided to get another option; an assessment with Karen O’ Connor.
    The holistic assessment of the puzzle helped Patricia understand the motor planning and the whole picture of her child was addressed. Although it was totally new to Patricia she felt relieved and understood it straight away. Karen not only looked at his Speech and Language or comprehension but all the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle that makes up a person.
    Karen helped set the foundation for Patricia’s son and it became clear that in order to reach the top the bottom needs to be set in place first. Changes started to become visible and as time passes the benefits of the home programme are becoming clearer. Patricia acknowledges that if the motor planning piece is left out then it will always be missing. 
    Karen’s book along with the LiFT programme eliminated all fluency issues for her son which have now totally disappeared. His reading and handwriting also improved as well as his coordination and balance.
    The results are really life-changing.

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    • 12 min
    Conversation with Paul Madaule, Psychologist & Director of the Listening Centre, Toronto

    Conversation with Paul Madaule, Psychologist & Director of the Listening Centre, Toronto

    Karen O' Connor speaks with Paul Madaule, Psychologist & Director of the Listening Centre, Toronto.
    Paul was involved in establishing centres in the US and Mexico and he created Listening Fitness with the LiFT®, a portable audio-device and professional training course that provides the listening work to wider audiences.
    Paul has written numerous articles on subjects related to the educational and therapeutic value of music, voice and Listening Training with children with developmental and learning problems. He also co-authored About the Tomatis Method. Paul’s book When Listening Comes Alive, first published in 1993, has been translated into ten languages.

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    • 1 hr 9 min
    Meet the Parents: Aileen's Story

    Meet the Parents: Aileen's Story

    Aileen discusses his daughter’s experience with Karen O’ Connor and the differences she saw in the Pieces of the Jigsaw programme compared to ‘standard’ techniques they’d encountered. 
    Aileen’s daughter wasn’t talking so they wanted to address these problems. After visiting many Speech and Language therapists and not seeing results as well as public waiting lists, they decided to contact Karen O’ Connor and the child development centre. 
    Aileen’s daughter wanted to speak but couldn’t get the words out which indicated that she had a problem with her tongue. After being assessed by Karen it was discovered that her daughter’s muscle tone was weak hence why she couldn’t get the sounds out. 
    After meeting with Karen, Aileen felt that they were on the right track. Karen explained her approach of looking at all the pieces of her child’s jigsaw and that all the pieces need to align in order for their child to fully develop and not just one area. 
    Aileen praises the Brushing approach which creates a calming environment for her daughter and that she really enjoys it as it makes her feel more comfortable in her own skin when out and about. She now has a greater sense of what she’s using her tongue for.
    Aileen stresses the importance of not giving up and for parents to keep going with these approaches with their child. It’s a process and is not going to happen overnight. 
    The first change they saw with therapeutic listening was that their child was more settled and engaged for longer periods of time. The programme changes but when using the Ease programme that’s when her sounds and words started to come. 
    Aileen highly recommends this approach to other parents as it has enabled her child to achieve her potential in a short period of time. 
    The difference it has made to her child and the benefits her family have seen in this time are incredible.

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    • 17 min

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