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Never Be Afraid To Ask For Help!

Ask for helpNever be afraid to ask for help! It always amazes me how many people do not ask for help when we need it.  There is no need to go through this journey alone.  Asking for help does not make you an incompetent parent.  No one could ever tell you that they have all the answers because that is rubbish.  Parenthood is a continuous journey of learning.

However, there is sadly the flip side if you ask for help.  You may be told that your child is too hard……your child is an Angel and it is all in your head………….or that they do not have time.  When I hear this through discussions in social media and with clients it really guts me that people would say this when someone asks for help.

I know exactly how hard it can be to ask for help.  I have a degree in Early Childhood and postgraduate Diploma in Disability Studies.  I have spent the majority of my working life looking after children.  I thought I was weak if I asked for help because it should have been easy for me.  Where did that get me?  Only with a diagnosis of severe depression.  I learnt the hard way how important it is to ask for help.  I was scared to ask for help because my mum had 4 kids under the age of five.  However, as the saying goes “it take a village to raise a family” but these days no one talks or helps those around each other.

By asking for help you will also improve your overall well being because you are also looking after yourself.  Find a support group that you can ask for help knowing that you are not being judged.  You are not alone!

 

 

 

Autism and Eye Contact

therapist and child playingLately I have been reading a lot of discussion about Autism and eye contact and during Emma’s Occupational Therapy it reminded me of this discussion.  Emma’s therapist was trying to explain the game of dominos.  Emma was sitting there with little expression and also not responding.  I asked Emma if she understood and her therapist prompted her to “ask for help”.  Emma started moving in her seat and did not respond verbally with the prompt.  I knew that Emma finds it quite confronting, even with Steve and I, to ask for help so I was interested to see what would happen next.  The therapist then said to Emma that she does not have to look in her eyes but just to look somewhere near her face.  With that suggestion Emma looked and asked for help.

This interaction reminded me about a post I say on Autism Discussion Page about eye contact.  I know for Emma eye contact causes anxiety and there has been some recent discussion about why we really prompt a person with an Autism Spectrum Disorder to make eye contact if it makes the person feel vulnerable?  Yes it is a “social” cue that we all learn but is it necessary?

Bill Mason discussion about Prompting Eye Contact is:

The best way to induce anxiety in children with autism is to prompt them to look at you. When many children are trying to listen to what you are saying, prompting them to look at your eyes will make them anxious and interfere with them being able to listen to you. There are three primary reasons for this:

1. Many children have auditory processing problems. Research has shown that people on the spectrum often look at your month. This would make since if they need to look at your month to better understand what you are saying.

2. Some children use peripheral vision to view things. For them, direct vision is too intense and overwhelming, so they look with their peripheral vision. When they are looking at you, they will appear to be looking away from you.

3. Many adults on the spectrum have told me that they become overwhelmed by the intensity of looking directly into your eyes. It feels very intimidating, very scary.

So forcing a child to look at you is not increasing their understanding, but often inhibiting it. It totally overwhelms and distracts them.

Like most all of us, looking at someone is much easier when we do it under our own volition. It is intimidating when someone prompts us to look at them. Same goes for all communication. We have found that children with ASD will look at you more frequently when indirectly invited to, not told to. Use the following tips and you find the child looking at you more often:

1. When talking to the child, position yourself so you are in front of him and at eye level. When your face is in his field of vision, it will get his attention better.

2. Use less words and more nonverbal language when communicating. Use more animated facial expressions, and exaggerated gestures to communicate. This invites the child to reference your face to obtain the information needed. Use words to augment your nonverbal language; while conveying most of information nonverbally. I animate my facial expressions which draws their attention.

3. When the child stops referencing you, try pausing briefly until he attention returns. Often the break in the interaction invites the child to check back with you to repair the breakdown.

So invite facial referencing, do not demand eye contact. And please do not grab and turn their face to you.

What is your thoughts about getting individuals with autism to make eye contact?

I Need to Talk to Someone!

I have just finished reading a wonderful article on the website http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/talk-listen-heal-depression-0611125 and its powerful message that we need to listen.  I hear quite a lot by clients the statement that “I need to talk to someone” especially to someone who understands.

So often I hear the statements “I have to be strong”, “I need to build the bridge”, “I need to get over it”,  “People tell me to stop complaining” but all they need to say is “I need to talk to someone”.

Sadly, children are taught to hide their emotions which usually end up boiling over into anger, not to cry, not to talk about how they feel.  But where does this end up in a life of depression, sadness, feeling alone, turning to drugs, alcohol and gambling.  Plus do not forget all the violence that seems to be increasing in our daily life.

How hard is it to actually sit down and listen to someone?  Most people do not need you to come up with a solution but simply listen.  We need to get our heads out of technology and the fast pace lives we think we need and take time to sit down and listen to someone.

People also need to talk to someone who understands how they feel.  My husband would appreciate if he could talk to another guy who has been through an episode of depression but other guys don’t want to talk to admit it and so they keep feeling alone and isolated.  It is extremely important for you to seek a friend who will listen to you as that is a wonderful building block of friendships and relationships.

One aspect of Coaching for Lifetime Change that clients appreciate is that I have been through a similar situation and they can open up to me.  I am not here to judge you but I do have an ear.  If you need to talk I am here for you.

 

Mother Guilt For Seeking Help |Coaching for Lifetime Change

Time in and time out I hear these words from clients at the commencement of their first session.  Here they are having made a massive decision for themselves to seek assistance in creating their dream family and transforming their relationship with their partner, their child and most importantly themselves.

Each time I hear that sentence a tear comes to my eyes.  What would you do if you wanted to get fit?  You would seek a fitness coach.  If you wanted to play footy? you would get a footy coach.  There is no guilt if you were seeking help from a coach in the above situations.  So why should there be any guilt for someone who is seeking help from a coach who focuses on families relationships and improving each of their relationships.

It also makes me reflect my own journey through parenthood.  I spent 7 months in a mother baby unit and in a psych ward after my second child was born.  It was damn tough and for quite a while I was questioning what I have done to my children.  I changed my thinking and I began to realise it was the greatest thing I could of done because I was given the chance to reconnect with who I was really was and I became a better mum.  Getting help was the best thing I could have done.

My clients also feel the same when all the transformations are happening.  It is amazing to watch each mum achieve the results that they have been wanting for so long.  To see their relationship with their child blossom even in the toughest of situations. To save relationships from divorce is one of the greatest experiences I share with my clients.  But the greatest achievement is watching mums find themselves.

There is simply no room for mother guilt for seeking help because the reality is these women have come to improve their relationships and at the end of the day it is these mums that benefit the most because they have transformed their relationships which will last forever.  The mums who are making others feel guilty are the ones that are missing out on having a fulfilling relationships with their family.

Don’t feel scared to make the decision to seek some help as I promise I am here with you 100% of the way from start to finish.

If you are a brand new mum who is wanting to improve your family relationships follow the link below to check out my programs.

http://coachingforlifetimechange.com.au/brand-new-mums/

If you are a mum who is on the road to recovery from postnatal depression and you want to transform your relationships, click on the link below for the fantastic programs

http://coachingforlifetimechange.com.au/new-family-beginnings-after-postnatal-depression/

If you are a mum with a child with special needs who wants to transform your relationship click on the following link so that you too can transform your relationship forever

http://coachingforlifetimechange.com.au/surviving-to-thriving-for-mums-with-special-needs-children/

The World is on Top of Me

Hands up if you feel like the world is on top of you?

Pass on a hug2The news is full of unhappy tales at the moment with unrest in countries, people getting murdered, parents murdering their own children, job losses etc.  Those are events we sadly do not have any control.  Then add any personal ones on top of that for instance cyber bullying, children being unwell or for us our dog is unwell.

It is extremely important that we all remember that we need to be there for each other.  We may not be able to solve the problem but we all have ears that so that we can listen.  Too many of us are so consumed with our own lives we forget or put aside that we need to check in with each other to see if we are ok.

However, during the times when we feel that the world is on our shoulders, we need to be aware of how we are treating those we love.  Just because you feel stressed does not give you any right to abuse, physically assault and hurt any other human being.  We tend to snap at those we love and it really is not on.

If you are feeling stressed and feeling like you are going to explode, please talk to someone before you do.  Call someone close or through a hotline to tell them that you are not ok.  We can not be strong all the time.  It is important during the times of stress to do have some me time so that you can breathe and feel grounded.  If you want to email me at info@coachingforlifetimechange.com.au as sometimes it is great just to get it out of the head.  I promise to answer your email as soon as I see it.

Always remember that you are not alone and there are people out there who simply want to listen.

Someone Who Understands

Wouldn’t it be great to get help from someone who understands?  Someone who understands how hard it is to be a new mum, someone who understands about having postnatal depression and understand how challenging it is to have children with special needs.

If you said a resounding YES to this answer well your in luck here.  I know how hard it is in these three areas as because these are my areas that I have personally live through on a daily basis.  My girls definitely did not give us an easy time as babies, I have lived through postnatal depression and depression and am now enjoying life and I have two children with autism and severe sensory processing disorder.

It can be extremely frustrating to seek help by someone who truly does not understand what you are going through.  But I do and I want to help you.  My family have definitely gone through to the depths of “crap” but we have managed to get through it all.  We are not perfect but we can get through anything as a family.

I am here to help you and your family start a new family beginning and start thriving as a family.  There is nothing you could say to me that would shock me and I just want to help you.

Parents Are Always Learning

Do mums and dads have all the answers in regards to parenting?  Hell No!  As a child care and special needs professional, constantly I am reminded that no matter how much information I know, my girls are always teaching me something new.

We hear a lot around mums groups that ‘things get easier’ but I always question do they?  I over heard a conversation between family members with one member stating all the facts about how having little ones are so much harder than ones who are older.  The other families were simply listening to the other family and their troubles.  I do not believe that it gets any easier as mums and dads face different issues and challenges.

We never have all the answers as mums and dads and we should always embrace the continual learning.  We should not feel any guilt that we do not have all the answers but feel kindness towards ourselves for not having the answers and seeking help to find those answers.

Listen to Your Gut Instinct | Filming Friday

 

 

Why Are We So Scared To Ask For Help?

A new mum asks “I need help”

Typical responses “Welcome to parenthood”

“Suck it up”

“We never asked for help”

“Asking for help is a sign of weakness”

“Just get on with it”

When you read the above responses, it is no wonder why parents struggle through and not ask for help.  If a parent does get some help, they in turn feel guilty and feel that they are not good enough as a parent.

But is asking for help that bad?  No!

If I did not seek help, I would be 6 foot under by now. I was diagnosed with severe depression after my first child was born and with severe PND with my second child.  If I didn’t ask for help I would not be here today and that is a reality.  If I did not ask for help, I would not be the person I am today from all the wonderful help that I received.  I have had a long road through recovery but this week I said good bye to my psychologist after 5 years.

This is one of the reasons why I have set up Coaching for Lifetime Change.  I want to give back to the community for all the wonderful help I received and that I am still receiving.  I am extremely proud that I sought help because my life is so much richer and fulfilling than I could ever imagine.  I have so much to give and I can give each family fantastic results and an everlasting bond.  I am not judgemental at all and believe me nothing you could ever say to me would shock me.

Being a parent is extremely rewarding and truly amazing with the right help.  I promise you, that you will not regret it.

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