Before I received the help from Michelle I went through a lot of hard times by myself. I had lost control of my children especially my eldest who is now awaiting assessment for Autism. I struggled with work and had lost enjoyment in my life. Michelle gave me back my confidence, helping me to rationalise, and as a result I was able to slowly take back control in my household and assert my authority as a parent. Since then my stress levels have reduced and I feel more able to just hang out with my children and enjoy their time. I have also had the confidence to go out and find more support including extending my own education into Autism to help support my child better. Had I have been able to access the support from Michelle earlier I believe it would have saved a lot of heartache and struggles over the past year or two and would have saved my children from the upset it caused in the home as well. When I first met Michelle I was overwhelmed, scared and not sure how my life could possibly move forward. I was stuck! Michelle helped me make sense of things and made it all more manageable.
I have two children, one who is neurotypical and the other has been diagnosed with autism. Before my sessions with Michelle my main areas of difficulty in parenting my children included, setting and maintaining boundaries, keeping my children safe (due to behaviours) and also handing over responsibility for the children to my husband, therefore loosing my identity and forgetting I am more than just a mum or wife. After seeing Michelle I have learnt to let my husband take responsibility for the children and I also have an understanding that behaviours that my ASD daughter displays is no personal reflection on my parenting skills. I am now trying to socialise more with other adults and working towards furthering my career. I have learnt to step back from a situation and take a minute to assess it to see how best to deal with it and also how to stop giving in to my daughter’s negative behaviour. I have learnt I am a strong individual who can cope with difficult situations in everyday life.
I attended a resilience workshop for parants of special needs children run by Michelle under the umbrella of Find Your Spark. I can honestly say this has changed my life. Instead of discussing specifics of conditions and detailing strategies etc it was a completely holistic approach. It uncovered to me the novel aspect of helping myself and my children by building up resilience and positivity in our everyday lives. Teaching us ways of improving our mental health and appreciating the ways in which we can circumnavigate many of the battles outlined if we look at our approach to them and methods of thinking and dealing with things.
I feel with this guidance and inspiration and ideas I was left with at last some light shining in on our somewhat challenging lives. Treating the one thing we can in all this which is our approach and coping mechanisms and the door is always open to her to top up some of these!
I truly feel that if I had of had this support from the very beginning it would have shifted my entire approach to life as the parent of autistic children, it would have given me the tools and abilities to look beyond or outside the box in order to keep a positive and rewarding life .I feel I would have been enabled to build more of a life for myself over the years if I had of had this sooner. But finally I can see hope and our lives already seem just calmer and brighter and for that I don’t have enough words.