The Child Development Centre

“We are all made to shine as children do… It’s not just in some of us. It’s in everyone”. – Marianne Williamson

We believe in treating your child, not their label. We treat the cause of your child’s challenges, not the symptoms and together we look beyond labels and limits to see your child’s unique potential.

Karen O’Connor

Consultant Speech & Language Therapist / Director of Services at the Child Development Centre.

Karen O'Connor - The Child Development Centre

Karen has twenty years experience working closely with children with a wide variety of developmental challenges.

These include autism, Asperger’s syndrome, developmental co-ordination disorder, sensory processing disorder, cerebral palsy, dyspraxia, ADHD, speech and/or language delay, speech and/or language disorder, global developmental delay and many other challenges.

Over the years Karen has undergone considerable post-graduate training in many areas including advanced studies in sensory integration, the LiFT™ programme, Therapeutic Listening™ programme, Advanced Therapeutic Listening™ programme, Floortime, Talktools amongst many others.

Karen’s extensive experience both at home and abroad has helped her to develop a unique  and innovative programme for families that incorporates sensory integrative and other neurological techniques with more traditional speech and language therapy approaches with amazing results.

“ Children are making incredible progress in a short period of time. Some children are improving by two and and years over a period of thirty days”.

Karen is eager to share her extensive knowledge and experience with families to help their children achieve their full potential.

Who We Are

We treat your child and not their label.

  • Are you tired of therapists merely ticking boxes with your child?
  • Are you worn-out hearing therapists list what your child cannot do instead of what they can do?
  • Are you interested in working with a multidisciplinary team of highly qualified professionals who understand how to help your child achieve their true potential?

Because we are not restricted by the label placed on your child, we can see their true potential. Our comprehensive diagnostic and assessment process allows us to focus on the underlying cause of the problem rather than just the symptoms.

We see each child as an individual with their own set of abilities and challenges, this gives us an in-depth understanding of their neurological development. By looking at the world through the eyes of each child, we can understand their difficulties in relating to the world around them. This understanding enables us to devise specifically targed treatment programmes with impressive results.

Our specialised programmes combine up-to-the minute sensory integrative and other advanced neurological therapies with speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, psychology and other therapies.

We work from the inside out, enhancing your child’s neurological development using the brain’s own flexibility: its neuroplasticity. This approach is then combined with more traditional therapies allowing us to work from the outside in. Over the past twenty years we have helped thousands of children to progress beyond the limits of their labels.

Our combination of paediatric speech and language therapy, listening therapy, occupational therapy, biomedical therapy, craniosacral therapy and psychology help children achieve their full potential in a more effective way in a much shorter period of time.

As leaders in field of child development, we are delighted to work closely with families, sharing our knowledge and expertise with you so that your child can achieve their true potential.We are seeing children achieve incredible results in weeks rather months and months rather than years.

Children who were told they would never talk, never have friends or attend mainstream school have all moved way beyond the limits placed on them by their diagnostic label. Whether you use our home-based treatment plan or one of our intensive listing programmes in our centre, you will see your child achieve results.

Who We Work With

At the Child Development Centre we work with children who may have a specific diagnosis, for example, ADHD, ADD, Dyslexia, Hearing Difficulties, Down’s Syndrome or Autism.

Often many of the children we see don’t have a specific diagnosis but present with any of the characteristics listed below: spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, global developmental delays, speech / language delay or disorder, developmental co-ordination disorder (DCD).

  • Poor concentration,
  • Behaviour difficulties,
  • Auditory processing difficulties,
  • A history of ear infections,
  • Does not pay attention to verbal instructions,
  • Easily distracted by background noises or drifts from paying attention,
  • Has difficulty with phonics,
  • Learns poorly through auditory information alone (without supporting visuals),
  • Has a diagnosed language or speech difficulty,
  • Displays slow response time to verbal stimuli,
  • Covers ears to avoid sounds,
  • Frequently gives odd or inappropriate responses in conversation,
  • Frequent tantrums or self directed behaviour,
  • Hears sounds such as aeroplanes, etc. before anyone else, and often runs away from them,
  • Limited social skills – difficulties interacting with peers,
  • Avoids eye contact,
  • Hums or makes noises,
  • Motor planning and co-ordination difficulties,
  • Difficulty organising the day,
  • Fatigue by end of day,
  • Needs constant activity or visual stimuli,
  • Difficulty finding the exact words to express themselves.

Please take a look at our listening checklist and sensory checklist to see whether your child may have a listening or a sensory processing challenge that is causing or contributing to their speech, language or other challenges.

Our Approach

Our approach is based on twenty years experience working with many children with very mild to much more complex needs.

We welcome each child as a unique person with their own personality, interests and talents. We believe that every child has the ability and the right to achieve their own potential, whatever that may be. To that aim, we believe they should be given the correct opportunities and experiences.

We work in partnership with each family to provide those opportunities and experiences, helping each child to achieve their own true potential in all areas of development.

We work with each child holistically gaining an understanding of all the pieces of their developmental jigsaw, with a particular emphasis on any underlying neurological or sensory component, as we know that this can often be the root cause of a child’s developmental challenges.

Our treatment programmes combine a “bottom-up” approach, which impacts on a child’s brain development through a process termed as neuroplasticity and a “top-down” approach which helps them integrate the stimuli they receive from the world around them. We love to work from the “inside-out” and the “outside-in” blending together the most up-to-the-minute neurological and sensory integrative therapies with more conventional therapies to achieve the best results for each child.

  • We have twenty years of experience working with children,
  • The name of the game at the Child Development Center is FUN,
  • Our experienced practitioners want to work in partnership with you to help your child achieve their potential.

We have researched and developed our programmes over the past twenty years helping thousands of children worldwide to achieve their true potential, achieving results that many others thought were not possible.

We believe that children want to have FUN and must have FUN to learn. Children really enjoy their time at the Centre. This makes it easier for parents as the children run in the door and are excited to be here.

We know that when children are highly engaged and motivated, the neurochemistry is just right for optimal brain function, language and learning.

Come with us to look beyond labels and limits at your child’s true potential.

Our highly experienced multidisciplinary team approach enables us to look at and understand all the pieces of your child’s developmental jigsaw and in so doing develop the most effective programme for your child. Our approach has your child and family at its very core and we as a group of highly skilled, innovative and experienced practitioners want to work in partnership with you to help your child achieve their potential.

We believe that the essence of a great therapist, doctor, teacher or clinician is their passionate belief that there is a way to make things better and in believing that there is a way we are creating the way.