Would you like your child to grow up feeling good about themselves?

Would you like your child to grow up knowing that it is ok to be different? That it is ok to be them? Would you like them to be appreciative of their gifts and strategic about their challenges?

We are running a pilot 6 x 90 min session parent coaching course that will help you to deepen your understanding and connection with your autistic child.

Dates: 6 sessions every Tuesday lunch time, 12.00 – 13.30, running from November 3rd to December 8th 2020

Whether you have professional confirmation of autism or simply suspect it, you will be facing challenges that seem beyond the realm of typical parenting. We can support you in navigating these challenges and help to normalise what can feel like a lonely voyage.

When my son was little, he had some interesting quirks, he loved organising his toys into sequences, he could spend hours absorbed in an activity of his own choosing but quickly lose interest in playing with a peer. He was the kid wearing a thick coat, hood up on a scorching hot day. He didn’t hold back from telling the truth and oftentimes he came across as rude. He corrected teachers during lessons and was a stickler for policing other children to ensure they followed the rules which didn’t win him any favours in the popularity stakes. He was hungry for knowledge and had an amazing capacity for storing all sorts of interesting pieces of information. He was different from most other kids.

At the age of eight we found out that he was autistic and that’s when everything started to make sense. We went on a fast learning track to find out about autism and more specifically how our son experienced and perceived the world. With these insights we did some major tailoring of our parenting approach. We worked out how to help him excel in the things which came naturally to him and allowed him lots of time to pursue his own interests. We also worked hard at making explicit the hidden social rules so that he became more clued up about the interactions going on around him.  Parenting him has been interesting, rewarding, hard work and lots of fun.  He is now a young man who has just started university, living away from home for the first time and standing on his own two feet. All in the midst of a global pandemic. I couldn’t be prouder of him.

When my son was diagnosed there was very little support available for me. I’ve taken my experience and the experiences of many others and curated the course that I wish I’d been able to go on when my son was first identified as being on the autistic spectrum.

I’m running this course with Katie Friedman who is also a professional coach with first-hand experience of parenting a neurodiverse family.

So, what are the kinds of challenges you might be experiencing as a parent of an autistic child? Here’s just a few examples.

Family Life

  • Do you and your partner disagree about seeking an autism diagnosis and once you have one do you disagree about whether or not to tell anyone about it?
  • Do you find it difficult to juggle the needs of your children when only one of them is on the spectrum?
  • Maybe you find it difficult to connect with your child?

Behaviour

  • Does your child need routine and for things to be as they expect? How do you manage when unexpected things crop up?
  • Are they a stickler for making sure everyone follows the rules? Do you find you are having to take on the roles of negotiator and diplomat whilst also feeling like you are on trial with your child being the prosecutor?
  • Does your child have meltdowns or shutdowns when things become too much for them?

Sensory Issues

  • Does your child experience hyper sensitivity making seemingly simple tasks, like shopping, almost impossible?
  • Does your child find it impossible to tolerate some self-care activities for example washing, toileting, brushing their teeth? Do they resist eating certain foods? Are they particular about the texture of their clothing? Do they hate having sun cream applied?

Societal expectations

  • Are you having to cope with disapproving stares and unsolicited advice when people observe you and your child, when it’s all got too much for them?

Mental well being

  • Are you wondering how to support your child as they begin to realise that they are different from their peers?
  • Does your heart break to see your child struggling to make a friend? Or do you worry as they naively worship the popular child?

These are just some examples of what might be making your parenting journey complex and the list is certainly not exhaustive.

This course is for parents who have autistic children in mainstream or home education who may well be performing at or above expected educational levels.

It is for parents who are interested in raising their children in an inclusive neurodiverse family setting and who want their children to grow up feeling good about being autistic people.

This is a coaching group where we will give you some coaching skills training in the first session and you will have an opportunity to use these skills to think, talk, listen and reflect with other group members about how to meet the needs of your neurodiverse family. We want you to be able to celebrate your child’s strengths whilst also thinking through how to best support them as they navigate finding their place in the wider neurotypical world. The coaching skills will also come in useful for when you need to have solution-focused conversations with your children and other family members.

It’s for parents who are curious about collaborating with other parents, who want to become more conscious of how they show up as a parent and what their child needs from them. We hope that through this process you will have some of those creative light bulb moments that reveal the next step forward.

Whilst both Katie and I have experience raising neurodiverse families we are not experts when it comes to you and your family. This is not a course where we act like Super Nanny telling you how to raise your own child. We are professional coaches and will deliver a coaching course where you can take the opportunity to have some time out, collaborate with other parents to generate new thinking and ideas for making your family life even better than it is.

We hope that the course will be an inclusive space and we welcome both neurodiverse and neurotypical parents who feel that a coaching style group would be something they would like to and be able to engage with. We value diversity and this group is a place where we ask participants to speak respectfully and positively about autism and autistic people, including when we speak about our own children. 

We will be covering different themes over the sessions including:

  • exploring the positive and challenging impact of autism on family life, 
  • communication, 
  • behaviour and emotions, 
  • sensory issues, 
  • understanding your child’s needs, 
  • making family life work better, 
  • recognising and meeting your own needs.

We are charging a trial price of £90 – £120 depending on income for the course and as it is a pilot, we are very interested in getting constructive feedback on how to make improvements to the course so that we can create a really useful resource for parents.

Please do get in touch if you would like to have a place on the course or if you would like more information. Email me at lynne@communicationcoaching.org

We look forward to hearing from you.

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