13 years ago. That is how long my son Jack has been diagnosed with autism. I remember that day. I remember that appointment. I remember the grief and disbelief.
It was a shitty day guys.
But that started a journey. One that I wasn't planning on taking, but one I'm very glad I got to take. I have learned so much being a parent; doubly so as a parent of a child with a special need. There are been twists and turns but after about 9 or 10 years I started to realize that I was feeling better. I wasn't as overwhelmed. I was doing a good job in this surprise parent role I had been given.
It was no easy task...almost 10 years. YEARS.
That's a long time to feel like a crappy mom. That's a long time to not be sure you are doing the right things or making the right choices for your children. That's a long time to be worried about my son's quality of life. Hell - of MY quality of life. It was a long time.
What got me through that time was my personal interest in growth and development. Positive psychology, and learning...so much learning.
Do you know what I figured out - it doesn't have to take 10 years.
If you have the right support it doesn't have to take nearly that. And that's what this post is about today. Getting support.
If you are a parent of a child with a special need (PACEP) coaching can help you move through whatever you are struggling with faster and with more ease.
What can it help with? Oh! I have a list check it out
Increased Confidence: Coaching can help you develop confidence in your ability to meet the unique needs of your child. This increased confidence can lead to more effective parenting and better outcomes for your kid. Think IEP meetings, therapist appointments, locating services...
Improved Coping Skills: Parenting a child with special needs can be challenging and stressful. Coaching can help you develop coping skills to manage stress, anxiety, and other difficult emotions. And I'm not talking bubble baths and wine night (though those are great). I'm talking about taking care of your energy, identifying priorities, and taking control of what's going on in your head.
Better Communication: Coaching can help you improve your communication skills, Umm, yeah critical when advocating for your kid with educators and healthcare providers.
Access to Resources: A coach can help parents navigate the often-complex world of special needs resources, including educational services, therapy options, and community support groups. You guys it was 5 years AFTER my son's diagnosis that I found out about the Innovations Waiver...FIVE YEARS. Haven't heard about this? Please book a discovery call and go to their website...like today.
Improved Self-Care: Caring for a child with special needs can be all-consuming, leaving little time for self-care. See number 2 above - I can help you prioritize your own well-being and develop strategies to manage stress and prioritize your own needs.
Increased Connection: Isolation is a huge challenge for parents and caregivers of exceptional people (PACEPs) Coaching can provide you with a sense of connection and support from someone who understands your unique challenges and can offer empathy and encouragement. Remember - I live this too.
This isn't an inclusive list...but it's some major reasons. And look, I'm not here to tell you what you need to do. If you are struggling you can get support and help from anyone that can hold space from you and keep you accountable. It can be a therapist, a leader in your church/spiritual center, it can be your mom. But support helps.
It helps a ton. So don't wait if you are hurting. You don't need to be suffering through your child's diagnosis. You can get to a place of peace. I have walked this path. I would be honored to walk with you on yours.