Cultivating Self-Compassion for Parents in the Face of Challenges Let’s face it, parenting is hard for all parents. For many of us, family is one of our most high-held values. […] Read more…
The Connected Parent Blog
Welcome to The Connected Parent Blog.
In The Connected Parent Blog, I share my parenting journey as a Neurodivergent Mum of Teens who are Neurodivergent and part of the LGBTQ+ community from my perspective. I also share the Connection-Focused Parenting tools and strategies with you that have worked for me, my family and countless other families.
As self-discovery, reparenting ourselves and reconnecting with who we are as people first beyond the role of parent are all part of the journey, you will notice themes of this throughout my work. (This blog is written from my lived experience as a parent and a teacher, supported by the amazing research of professionals and advocates in this field. I am not a therapist or medical professional)
I have always believed that in order for our Neurodivergent children (and ourselves) to thrive in this world we do not change the person, but instead, the environment they live in needs to change. I am committed to spreading hope, practical, heart-led tools and advocating for change for my children and yours.
Please feel free to connect with me, share your perspectives and experiences and comment on blogs that you found useful. If you enjoy what you are reading and feel that it could help a friend or family member then please share these resources with others.
Don’t ever forget that a small group of thoughtful people can change the world, it’s the only thing that ever has – Aaron Sorkin.
Let’s work together to shift the paradigm of neurodiversity, sexuality and gender so that our children (and we) can safely thrive in this world as themselves.
A mum in my newsletter community recently reached out to me for advice with parenting her neurodivergent teen soon-to-be young adult. She shared that her autistic daughter was in her last year of high school and was contemplating going to university next year (college for those of you in the USA).
The mother asked me if our family could record an episode of our family podcast sharing the things, we did to prepare our eldest child and ourselves in the year leading up to them leaving home and moving away for university.
I read the email four times.
I reflected on her words and contemplated what the episode would look like. I thought about all its benefits… And then I remembered what actually happened in the year leading up to them leaving home.
I arrived at the conclusion, that in all honesty, this was something I unfortunately could not do. Read more…
Many parents whom I work with struggle with getting on the same page with and nurturing their relationship with their partner while co-parenting their neurodivergent children.
Parenting is one of the hardest and most complex jobs we will ever do as a person. We are literally responsible for taking care of and shaping the life of another human being. The pressure to get it right can feel intense!
A person would think with such high stakes and the momentous importance of the task at hand we would receive intensive training to match the significance of the job. However, that is sadly not the case. Many of us stumble into parenting having learned more about the mechanisms of giving birth than what it takes to raise a child.
In this blog I share some of the things my husband and Wayne, and I did to keep our marriage together while raising our three neurodivergent kids. Read more…
Autistic burnout is a very real and serious condition that can affect all autistic children, teenagers and adults. This chronic condition can cause extreme exhaustion, loss of executive functioning and social skills and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicidal ideation.
All autistic people are at risk for developing autistic burnout (even little children). However, the risk of developing autistic burnout is increased significantly if you are undiagnosed and or in the adolescent years or the transition years between teenager and young adult.
This blog explores what autistic burnout is and how you can protect your autistic child or teen’s mental and emotional wellbeing.
Rejection sensitivity dysphoria (RSD) is when you experience severe emotional pain because of failure or feeling rejected.
RSD is linked to ADHD, Autism, BPD and CPTSD and experts suspect it happens due to differences in brain structure. These differences mean your brain can’t regulate rejection-related emotions and behaviours, making them much more intense.
For a person who experiences RSD, their brain is wired to interpret neutral events/feedback as negative, and their brain is wired to discount positive events/feedback and their brain is wired to amplify the negative events/feedback. Read more…
Autistic meltdowns and shutdowns are an unavoidable part of the autistic experience. They are an autistic person’s body’s way of supporting them when their nervous system is overwhelmed. Meltdowns and shutdowns are a necessary release to help the autistic person’s nervous system return to homeostasis (regulation).
However, these essential survival mechanisms of having an autistic brain are still largely misunderstood and misinterpreted by society at large.
So what are autistic meltdowns and shutdowns and how can we support our children (and ourselves) when they occur? Read more…
When it comes to parenting your neurodivergent child/children radical acceptance means choosing to let go of what you have been taught to believe parenting or your child ‘should’ look like and choosing to parent in a way that works for you and your family.
Divergent in its very definition means to be different or to walk a different path. So it makes sense that doing things differently is going to be the best thing for us and our children.
When bringing together and considering the perspectives and needs of everyone in our neurodivergent families there are bound to be conflicts. It is inevitable.
Let’s face it, conflict is part of life especially when we are parenting teens and parenting neurodivergent teenagers can add complexity to this.
It is a parent’s job to set boundaries that we feel will keep our children healthy and safe. It is our teenager’s job to push up against those boundaries and to strive for independence. It’s how we were made! It’s biological! Read more…
It is estimated that Autism and ADHD affect both boys and girls at roughly the same rate. However, the difference is that boys are 4 times more likely to be identified as being Autistic or as having ADHD in early childhood compared to girls.
This is because our cultural perception of Autism and ADHD and what it ‘looks’ like makes it harder to identify girls and AFABs (Assigned Female At Birth) as being neurodivergent.
Many Autistic or ADHD girls and AFABs are left to navigate the education system and peer relationships without the support offered to their male counterparts. Read more…
Find Out Why So Many Autistics, ADHDers and AuDHDers Are Only Identified Later In Life.
Did you know that if you are the parent or grandparent of a child who is Autistic or has ADHD, there is a high possibility that you could be Autistic or Have ADHD too?
Much of what we currently know about Neurodiversity is still emerging and evolving, however, research suggests that Autism and ADHD have a strong genetic link.
This means that if you are the parent of a child who is Autistic or has ADHD then there is a strong chance that you or your child’s co-parent (or both of you) may be neurodivergent too – something that many parents are unaware of. Many parents of children who are Autistic or have ADHD (especially Mothers) only find out that they are neurodivergent after their children are identified.
Why does this happen? Read more…
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