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Connacht Tribune

Making waves to reach potential

Bernie Ni Fhlatharta

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Karen O'Connor

Lifestyle – 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.

The cost is €29.99 for the programme while the cost of a speech therapy assessment is €300 and each therapy session afterwards €100, which is a significant price difference.

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.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Words in the one language can get lost in translation

Dave O'Connell

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Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

You’d be fairly deluded to see the upside of stormy weather – but if any joy could be drawn from the recent Storm Ciara, it was in the efforts of our English friends to pronounce it.

Even a handful of staff at the BBC – an organisation with its own Pronunciation Unit – got it hopelessly wrong as often as it got it right. So instead of Keera, it was Key-ara, just one small step from Ki-Ora as though an orange squash had engulfed the land.

You’d wonder if that was the devilment at play when the storm was originally named, following a poll hosted by Met Éireann on Twitter – coming up with something that would at least give us a laugh in the midst of a blackout?

Adding fuel to that particular fire was that the Chair of the European Storm Naming Group is none other than Evelyn Cusack, Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann and a woman blessed with a wicked sense of humour.

That’s not to say that Evelyn doesn’t take her job extremely seriously, because she does – and the colour-coded weather warnings are indicative of that.

But she also has a good sense of perspective – so ensuring there’s a strong Irish dimension to this shared naming process between ourselves, the UK and the Netherlands would be right up her street.

In fairness to any devilment in Evelyn, there’s an even greater danger with these things if you leave it to the general public – as evidenced by names suggested by the public (and rejected by the UK Met Office) including Vader, Voldemort, Baldrick and Noddy.

Indeed, according to the London Times, among the other suggestions turned down was that one of the storms could be called Inateacup.

So instead, we get to name a few, the Brits get to name and good few and the Dutch throw in their tuppence worth as well.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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Connacht Tribune

FF is stuck between a rock and a hard place

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Crunch time...FF leader Micheal Martin.

World of Politics with Harry McGee – harrymcgee@gmail.com

Anyone who has ever run a marathon knows that, somewhere around the 35km mark, you hit hell – and even when you finish it, the first reaction is ‘never again’…until a few months later they convince themselves it was not that bad, and sure, they might even go again.

And as it is with marathons in the sporting sense, so too in the political sphere – as we’re once again discovering.

Back in 2016, government formation took 70 days – and here we are with another marathon to a tortuous haul over the line.

And to be honest, we’re a long way from resolution.

Fianna Fáil says it will not go into government with Sinn Féin. Fine Gael says it will not go into government with either Sinn Féin or Fianna Fáil. Sinn Féin is exploring a government with the left but the name of the game for the party is some kind of arrangement with Fianna Fáil.

That’s not what Fianna Fáil wants. It wants a grand coalition (even though the two formerly biggest parties are considerably less grand after the election) involving Fine Gael, plus the Greens or Social Democrats or both.

Fine Gael does not want any arrangement. It wants to lead the opposition. But if every other combination bites the dirt, it might be reluctantly willing to talk to Fianna Fáil in terms of some form of coalition arrangement.

Every single suggested arrangement involves a massive fundamental shock to all the parties – but particularly to Fianna Fáil.

The party was the biggest loser in the election. It was expected to make gains, but it ended up losing seven seats, plus some of its brightest TDs, including Lisa Chambers, Fiona O’Loughlin and Declan Breathnach.

Now it faces stark choices on all fronts.

It’s been nearly a decade out of power and needs to go back in – but it has been much weakened and if it goes into government it will not go in as the dominant partner.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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Connacht Tribune

Aer Lingus addition means airline will have record capacity at Shannon in 2020

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Pictured at Shannon Airport onboard the new A321neo LR aircraft were (from left) Donal Moriarty, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Aer Lingus, Andrew Murphy, Managing Director Shannon Airport, Rose Hynes, Chairman Shannon Group and Mary Considine, CEO Shannon Group.

There was double cause for celebration in Shannon last week when Aer Lingus launched its second new aircraft at the airport as its New York JFK service resumes ahead of schedule.

CEO of Shannon Group, Mary Considine, has said that the launch today of the new Shannon-based aircraft and the early return of Aer Lingus’ JFK service was a further show of commitment by the airline to Shannon Airport and the region.

The service recommenced last week – a month earlier than in previous years – and will operate six days a week, rising to seven days a week in the peak summer months all the way through to the end of the year.

Passengers will now avail of the new state-of-the-art A321neo LR aircraft on this route, which comes complete with additional business class capacity.

With this and their two services for Shannon in 2020, Aer Lingus’ capacity this year will grow by 20%.   As a result 2020 will see the largest percentage increase in the number of Aer Lingus seats in over 30 years at Shannon Airport.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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