Creating Extraordinary Social and Emotional Groups for Kids with Dr. Lynn Hellerstein and Craig Knippenberg

Craig KnippenbergDr. Lynn Hellerstein of Vision Beyond Sight speaks with Craig Knippenberg, a multi-awarded mental health consultant, author, podcast host, creator of CONNECT Social Skills Group Program, and founder of Colorado’s largest private mental health practice in child and adolescent neurobehavioral disorders. He talks about his extraordinary work of creating social and emotional groups for kids.

Click here and tune in to the show now to explore:

  • The magic of social/emotional development groups (the CONNECT model)
  • His parenting book Wired and Connected and how it is different from others on the market
  • What Craig’s podcast, Legit Parenting is about
  • His charity for mental health consumers
  • How to help ASD students with visualization

Craig A. Knippenberg, LCSW, M.Div., founded Colorado’s largest, solely owned private mental health practice specializing in child and adolescent neurobehavioral disorders. He also earned notoriety for creating the CONNECT Social Skills Group Program 40 years ago, which spans socialization groups targeted at helping children navigate the social, emotional, and behavioral ups and downs of childhood and adolescence. CONNECT has helped thousands of children grow and mature. 

He is the mental health consultant for St. Anne’s Episcopal School in Denver. He is also the author of Wired and Connected: Brain-Based Solutions To Ensure Your Child’s Social and Emotional Success (Illumify Media Global), which is based on 25 years of a detailed brain-based curriculum he developed while at St. Anne’s. He is also the host of the popular parenting podcast, Legit Parenting: Strategies for Actual (Imperfect) Parents for Building Resilient Children and Families, available on Apple and Spotify).

He has also authored I was a Turtle, which details his emotional experiences from growing up with dyslexia, and how he discovered the joy of reading, and, Crying for Columbine, which details his experiences as a mental health first responder at the Columbine tragedy.

In 2008, Knippenberg received the Minoru Yasui Community Volunteer Award from the nonprofit Denver Foundation, recognizing his commitment to mental health consumers via the Prince of Peace Social Club. He also was a recipient of the Heroes in The Fight award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in 2009 for his volunteer work through the Social Club. Since the 1990s, he served as president of the ADDAG, was a board member of TSA – Colorado and a Trustee for Denver Academy. He also served the board for Creative Adoptions. 

Knippenberg and his son, launched, a website and blog dedicated to helping dads connect with their kids through adventure.

Connect with Craig Knippenberg:

Website | Facebook | YouTube

Legit Parenting Podcast

Purchase the book Wired and Connected (discounted at $15 only!)

“If you think of Winnie the Pooh characters, Winnie the Pooh is neurotypical. He is just going along. Something happens, let’s say he falls down a rock. He gets up and just says, ‘Oh bother. But there might be honey in a tree.’ And he’s happy again. Off he goes, he’s just happy. Other kids are sort of like Piglet. They fall over the rock, they get anxious and they’re worried they’re gonna get hurt and fall down again. They won’t even go on the walk. They have to go back home and recover from their anxiety. We have some kids who are like Rabbit. He’s kind of grouchy. Rabbit falls over the rock and he starts throwing the rocks, kicking the rocks, and yelling at the rocks. Some of your listeners’ kids out there might be quick to anger, goes the old phrase. And there are some who are like Eeyore. ‘Even the rocks don’t want to be my friend. Nobody wants to be my friend.’ They struggle with depression or melancholia. All humans have some form of temperament.” – Craig Knippenberg

Click here to play this show now!

Dr. Lynn Hellerstein, Developmental Optometrist, co-owner of Hellerstein & Brenner Vision Center, P.C., award-winning author and international speaker, holds powerful and inspiring conversations with her guests in the areas of health, wellness, education, sports and psychology. They share their inspirational stories of healing and transformation through their vision expansion. Vision Beyond Sight Podcast will help you see with clarity, gain courage and confidence. Welcome to Vision Beyond Sight!

Dr. Lynn’s books are available at and

Dr. Lynn is available for speaking engagements and consulting. For more information, visit

To learn more about vision therapy or to find a doctor providing vision therapy in your area, visit

To learn more about vision and the impact in concussion/brain injury, visit Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation Association.

Subscribe to Vision Beyond Sight! New episodes every Wednesday at 9 am MT/10 am CT

Spotify Stitcher Audible iHeart Radio | Amazon Music | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts

Return to the Vision Beyond Sight Podcast Page
Connect with Dr. Lynn

About Dr. Lynn

A pioneer in vision therapy and developmental optometry, for more than 30 years, Dr. Lynn Hellerstein has helped thousands of children and adults improve their vision and transform their lives — at home, in the classroom, and most recently on the playing field. Her breakthrough methods unlock barriers to learning and “rewire” around brain injuries, and vision perception or processing deficits. But you don’t have to have a vision problem to benefit: her brain training strategies may be the missing magic if you’re an athlete trying to nail a tricky shot or stay cool in competition. If it’s a skill you can visualize, Dr. Hellerstein can help train your eyes — and mind’s eye — on success.

Award-winning and #1 bestselling author, Dr. Lynn has published numerous professional peer reviewed articles, chapters and four books.

See It. Say It. Do It! (2009) - How to see/recognize your goal, declare your intention, and taking action to achieve your vision.

See It. Say It. Do It! Organize It! (2011) - How to create a step by step process to make achieving your goal a reality.

50 Tips To Improve Your Sports Performance (2013) - How to improve your sports performance today by enhancing eye-mind-body coordination skills, achieving the mental edge, and preventing injuries.

Expand Your Vision (2021) - Discover the power of the seeing brain…the creator of your true vision. Gain Clarity, Courage, and Confidence. In this #1 Amazon best-selling innovative newest book, the power of visualizing and believing in the process to break through internal barriers and create new possibilities for achieving your goal is explored. Visualization can be used to increase creativity, to reduce stress and anxiety, and to build confidence in all of the things that they do.