This weekend I am speaking at an event attended by parents who have a child with special needs. It is a wonderful information day with a series of guest speakers on a range of topics. But best of all there will be a room full of parents, which means a room full of parent wisdom.
I am looking forward to this event as I have the chance to speak about the themes in my book ‘Becoming Chief, how to lead your child’s special needs tribe’. I also get the chance to chat with parents, to hear their stories, challenges and successes. I learn so much more than I deliver at speaking events like this.
The presentation planning process is always interesting. I like to allow lots of time to read, search online, gather new and preloved ideas and content. For this weeks’ event I dived back into the pages of ‘Becoming Chief‘ with the view to extract the books strongest themes and suggestions.
Here is a snapshot of what I came up with, and a sneak peek of my upcoming presentation.
Telling family and friends is different for everybody. From parents I hear that they witness a spectrum of emotions and reactions. Similarly the process of adjustment and acceptance is an individual marathon, run at a different pace with stops and starts for each person. I have written about this in my book and look forward to peoples thoughts during the upcoming workshop.
Plan the Action, Action the Plan
As a Family Service Coach, I guide families to design and run unique programs that deliver positive outcomes for their child. There is a process. I coach parents to set their goals, engage their dream team of health, medical and education professionals, design the best possible program, implement it and then measure the outcomes. Collaboration and communication are key. There are so many easy ways to kick your child’s team into high performance mode, and it’s all for the benefit of your family and child.
No Fun in Funding
Sigh, always tough to write and speak about this topic. To be blunt, the system is complex and inequitable. It is currently a matter of good luck rather than good management. Sourcing funds may depend on your diagnosis, if you have one, where you live and who you ask. This is why building strong connections with other parents, constantly asking astute service providers and participating in live and virtual forums all help. I am anticipating energetic conversation about this during my upcoming presentation.
Feeling organised helps curb anxiety and promotes confidence. Running a family is hard enough, the additional demands of a child with special needs tends to bump life to a new level. There are many and varied strategies for taming emails, paperwork, tasks, appointments and the tribe. New organisational habits may take a little time to bed down but often prove powerful. Parents are so generous with sharing their ‘life hacks’, I look forward to hearing more gems on Saturday.
Author Eleanor Brown writes “you cannot serve from an empty vessel”. Rest and self-care are critical for health and wellbeing, yet so often, parents – and I will go so far as to say, mothers, push self care way down the daily ‘To Do List’. The time and the activity each person needs to rest, replenish and re energise is unique and needs to self determined. However, the mental habit and permission to guiltlessly pursue self care should be universal. I am keen to hear from the audience how they incorporate and benefit from self care. Stay tuned, I will let you know.
My presentation is good to go and I am looking forward to partnering with great parents and providers. I love to talk and to listen and to learn. There is more about my book ‘Becoming Chief‘ and what I do over on my website. If you feel that I may be the sort of speaker you would like for your event please drop me an email.