Groundwork: Coaching Families with Special Needs-Guest Post

Early Behavioral Theories

By Deborah Beasley

The groundwork that laid the early theories for our current understanding of treating, and parenting children with emotional, psychological, and developmental disorders is about 60 years old. [ctt template="5" link="9SWqh" via="yes" ]In the last thirty years, research in the areas of trauma, stress, PTSD, and the child’s developing brain has intensified through the dedication of the superstars of the world of trauma, children, and affect-regulation @parent_coach[/ctt]

Noteworthy names include:

John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth, for their work in early parent child attachment. (Download John-Bowlby link for PDF.)

Allen Shore for his extensive contemporary work in affect-regulation

Peter Levine, Bruce Perry, and Bessel van der Kolk for their unstoppable research and discovery in the effects of trauma on the neurobiological and social-emotional development of children.

Their collective, groundbreaking, work is the sound philosophy of this training, backed by the science of neurobiology and neuropsychology.

[ctt template="5" link="RK_37" via="yes" ]We now know that the healing path for children and families with emotional and behavioral difficulties rests on the firm foundation of these principles: @parent_coach[/ctt]

 

1. Healthy relationship and attachment between the parent and child as its pivotal point.

2. Understanding affect-regulation and brain development as the fulcrum of healing in the family.

Our relationship-focused model combines the best strategies and methods of all other approaches. The results we seek in this coaching/parenting model are

• To support and maintain a healthy relationship between the parent and child and unity in the family.

• To respect the unique cultural differences in family composition, and

• To identify and build upon the individual strengths and qualities of parent and child.

This model uses the best practices of current behavioral, cognitive, sensorimotor and interpersonal approaches, as well as traditional wisdom and related modern science, to create a path to healing which best fits the circumstances and behavioral needs of individual families. We use what is usable within the context of a healing relationship and discard the rest.

Are you a kind of person who wants to help families with special needs by becoming a parent coach but you don’t know how to become a parent coach?

Register for our coaching families with special needs course and become a certified parent coach.

coaching families with special needs course

 

Parent Coaching Skills for Transformation

What if your calling to support parents and children were your career? The value ACPI provides extends far beyond the monetary aspects of the parent coaching skills training and the profession. Being a parent coach is exciting and inspiring, but how exactly does it add value to you, the coach?

Being a Parenting Coach is one path to freedom of time and better-earning power if you are committed to success as a helping professional. This option strengthens your character and fulfills your motivation and moral and social values. Learning coaching skills and ethics offers rewarding experiences. Or, learning consultant planning sharpens your mind and lights the fire of curiosity again.

As Richard Branson states, you just have to say yes to a novel opportunity.

“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
― Richard Branson

Learning parent coaching skills can be life-changing, and not just for the families with whom you interact, but also for yourself. You might feel that parent coaching is your calling, so you help others in your parenting and friendship circles. When your satisfaction grows, the calling pulls you even further into the possibility of working at home for yourself. Think of the possibilities!

[tweetshareinline tweet="The wonder of being pulled toward your journey is unparalleled. The idea of coaching stays in your mind and you mull it over." username="parent_coach"]

Learning Enhances Earning Power

A good teacher or mentor is a life-long learner. Learning adds value to

  • How you feel emotionally
  • What you do
  • How you respond to others
  • IHow you increase your confidence and personal esteem

Your temperament and values motivate you to seek opportunities to use your natural skills like listening. You are a helper like a coach, a counselor, a teacher, a nurturer. You look for new challenges like coaching that broaden your knowledge and expand your skill set. By temperament, you are often called to teach, share, support, negotiate, and help.

Bringing your natural temperament traits into a profession like coaching engages your heart, which any job must do. If your heart is not engaged, you lose interest. If you are not seeing progress and achievements in your sphere of life, then consider parent coaching.

 

The Sense of Giving Back

The most satisfying act for a nurturer is knowing you have contributed to society in an effective way. Even better is knowing that the changes you have made have a long-term effect. By helping families and parents to strengthen their bonds, you offer them better connection and communication skills which can become their best habits.

You are assisting parents in raising their children as emotionally healthy individuals with ethical and moral values. There can’t be anything more satisfying and rewarding than knowing you help influence three generations of parents and children. However, the coaching skills are very different from giving advice.

The Client-Coach Relationship

  • As a mentor and coach, you know your clients on a personal, intimate level. They will share their emotional struggles and problems with you.
  • You are wired to be an empathetic listener who can understand and feel what the client is experiencing.
  • This requires developing a strong emotional bond with the customers.
  • You learn to build a relationship to help your clients heal, grow, and refine their focus and actions. This is missing in self-help parenting books and resources. That is what gives coaches an edge.

Taking Multiple Roles as a Consultant, Coach, or Mentor

As a parent coach, you are not just a counselor; you are a mentor who listens, teaches, educates, supports and transforms. Parent coaching skills can be defined as a set of excellent listening, coaching, and counseling skills. It is a universal skill set that will help you throughout your professional and personal endeavors in every walk of life.

However, you need to acquire the skills set required to become a good parent coach and reap the real value of being a mentor. You can start now by enrolling in Academy for Coaching Parents.

Be a Certified Coach

Behavioral Regulation-1-Through-Family-Play

“Play is a uniquely adaptive act, not subordinate to some other adaptive act; but with a special function of its own in human experience.”

Johan Huizinga

Families with children with behavioral disorders...

...may not remember how to play, have fun, and spend peaceful times with each other. Rather, energy is spent in repeating relationships.

When I step in to coach this type of family, who have forgotten, the concept of joy and family time is often painfully absent. Rather, focus is shaped amidst the turmoil and enormous energy spent caring for a child with difficult behaviors.

As parents practice new skills to calm their internal landscapes as well as the environments of their homes, they must also re-learn how to have fun. A vital part of healing the family is reintroducing fun, connective activities, joy and humor into the schedule. A new module in the Coaching Families With Special Needs In Behavioral Regulation provides practical information to help coaches and parents co-create a plan for repairing relationships through family fun.

The other day, when I was in town, I witnessed a shocking event. A funeral procession was slowly making its way down Main Street.. The hearse appeared to have engine trouble at the top of the hill. Suddenly, the back doors of the hearse burst open, and the coffin flew out the back of the vehicle! A few people screamed as the coffin skidded down the street and crashed into a pharmacy at the bottom of the hill. Remarkably, it came to a stop right in front of the pharmacist’s desk. In a flash the lid popped open, and the guy inside asked the pharmacist, “Doctor, doctor! Can you give me something to stop this awful coffin?”

NOTE: What just happened in your brain and body?

Some significant processes occurred in your neurophysiology that have the power to alter not only the way you feel, but also your perception and outlook on past, present, and future situations.

How does the joke relate to self-regulation and repairing family relationships?

[ctt template="5" link="ueYc6" via="yes" ]Laughter IS the best medicine. No, really! It’s true. We had a decent laugh over the joke I just told, and each of you are still benefiting from its effects. @parent_coach[/ctt]

Laughter and humor cause the brain to release ‘feel-good’ endorphins that flood  bodies and minds with well-being. Laughter causes us to breathe deeper and fills our lungs and bodies with stress busting oxygen. The wonderful combination of endorphins and oxygen culminates in a feeling of happiness.

Studies conducted by the Mayo Clinic as recently as 2013, show that laughter and smiling relieves depression, anxiety, and helps the body to produce natural painkillers. Additionally, positive self-affirming thoughts, release neuropeptides that improve our immune systems and help us fight stress. This strikes at the heart of our topic.

Neuropeptides make it easier for us to cope in difficult situations. Here are the chemical reactions we WANT to occur more regularly in the brains and bodies of disorganized and dysregulated families and children. This is just the prescription families need to coax them back to emotional balance and relationship; only, they do not know if you are a parenting coach, who arrives to model and teach this concept.

[ctt template="5" link="bza94" via="yes" ]Now, here is the challenge. How do you coach the long-suffering, overwhelmed parents to initiate a plan to have fun while they are still suffering the after effects of secondary trauma and high stress? @parent_coach[/ctt]

 

Here are some of the challenges you face.

  • Some parents do not believe they will ever have fun or smile again.
  • Others ache to smile light-heartedly and long to regain some of their previous carefree lives.
  • Some parents have convinced themselves that a strict schedule where the child accounts for every minute of the day is the only sane way to keep their child on the straight and narrow; therefore, they do not have time for fun.
  • Others are resentful and angry because of the extreme difficulties a behavioral child brings to the family dynamic, resulting in radical changes in lifestyle.
  • Parents, brothers and sisters have learned to live compartmentalized and disjointed lives in the chaos and conflict that sometimes ensues when living with a child with disruptive behaviors.

All of these caregivers may believe the simple pleasures of life are long lost. It is likely that none of them know how to break current ingrained negative patterns of interacting and bring family together again in playful ways.

Been There Too!

Referring to my personal experience, I recall feeling old, tired, depleted, and played out. (No pun intended!) However, the words of George Bernard Shaw are appropriate here:, “We do not stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”

We know that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and this is true for parents and kids alike. The ramifications of a life without the emotional glue of experiencing happiness, love and joyful interactions with those persons who mean the most to us are profoundly limiting.

So, how do we draw our hard pressed and pressured caregivers out of their old paradigms and beliefs and into the lighter side of life? Here is the four step secret formula to help families begin to have fun together, even while dark clouds linger.

  1. Administer fun in small measured daily doses.
  2. Monitor frequently for signs of heightened stress or conflict.
  3. Troubleshoot prevention, intervention, and exit and salvage strategies with parents should activities show signs of spiraling downward.
  4. Reflection of the effects on each family member is encouraged.

See also Behavioral Regulation 2 and Behavioral Regulation 3

 

Enroll Now in Coaching Families with Special Needs in Behavior Regulation

Coaching Online–Attracting Clients

Making money online with your coaching business means you will need clients. Attracting those clients could be difficult, but with practice the process can become easier.

Attracting Clients

Step 1 – Know Your Target Market

Narrow down your target market. Don’t try to get just any client. Choose a specific group or area of expertise that fit those people you want to coach or work with.  Shape your message to serve this specific segment. Use the words they use for emotional topics or soft skills, Talk about the specific benefits you offer that provides solutions to their challenges.

Examples of target markets:

  • Realtors who are faced with a lot of competition in a slow market.
  • Hair salon owners wanting to find a way to stand out among other salons or who are overwhelmed with their work.
  • Parenting coaches choosing to work with a special needs segment of the school population.
  • A Family Coach who want to coach mothers and children through the divorce process.

Can you begin to see how attracting clients is your task and focus most every day. An this process could be automated. 

Step 2 – Have confidence in your coaching service

Show you believe in your services and value your time in everything you say and do. Clients will see your value as well. How do you act or speak with confidence? Do you speak about how you offer services? Then switch the discussion to the vapes and emotional benefits your clients feel and experience when they work with you. 

Step 3 – Connect with prospects    

When talking to prospects, really listen and connect with them. Let them that feel you understand. Take the time to let your prospective clients know you as a person. Become known as someone who is friendly, helpful and willing to go the extra mile.

Step 4 – Be where they gather

Go to the forums, meetings and social media outlets where your prospective clients are hanging out. Interact with them. Network with them at events.

Step 5 – Show yourself as the expert

Get your knowledge out among the crowd by answering questions and helping others in the places where your clients are gathering. Write articles and books on your niche. Use social media as a way to create a buzz around your coaching business. Use Twitter, Facebook and your own blog to help spread the word about your services. 

Volunteer to speak at networking events and conferences to build your reputation as an expert. Choose Facebook Live as a venue for coaching or educating prospective clients. Ask for testimonials from current clients to build your authority. Form alliances with other coaches and people in your niche.

Step 6 – Ask for referrals

Ask your current and past clients for referrals. Everyone knows of a friend, colleague or family member who might be a good fit for your services.

Step 7 – Create a compelling marketing message

Your marketing message, tagline and elevator speech should grab the attention of prospects and make them want to call you.

Step 8 – Create your services package

Package your services, what you offer and what you know into courses and systems that make the prospective client take notice and want to work with you. Your coaching packages should be positioned so they sell themselves also apart from packaged programs.

Step 9 – Create a marketing plancoach-training-global

Create a specific plan to help you reach your prospective clients. Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket. Use several different types of marketing. For example, some methods that a parenting coach might use to become better known in their community would be to

  • offer a free parenting talk at the local library
  • write for a local parenting newspaper, to magazine

 

Step 10 – Learn to close the sale

Once you have attracted your ideal client, age next step is making a sale. To do that, learn how to close the sale properly so you don’t scare a person away or leave them hanging by not providing the next step. 

Attracting your ideal client gets easier the more you do it. Spending time in the right places and using the right marketing plan can help.

Engage The Heart–The Brain Changes

Engage The Heart--The Brain Changes

We engage through the heart, connecting the child with their family and world through the power of a loving healing relationship. This is the Open Heart approach. Over time, as organization and regulation increase, the brain reformats and gets it. Much research concludes…

1. The role of the primary caregiver to assist the child in developing self-regulation far outweighs the influence of genetics or temperament.

[ctt template="5" link="Ic6qs" via="yes" ]2. However, it is the interaction of attachment and temperament that forms the working model of relationship between child and parent and parent and child. @parent_coach[/ctt]

In this course, you’ll be learning how the energy-dampening effect to behaviorally challenged children is a relationship-based approach.

Either parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle, or others closely involved with the child can have the same positive impact on the child’s development, internal self-regulation, and the regulation of (emotion) affect.

Indeed, it does take a village to raise a child well. Through a relationship-based model, the caregiver facilitates what the child cannot, until the child is capable of accomplishing it by herself.

[ctt template="5" link="z5xfY" via="yes" ]The caregiver returns to the basics of an early parenting model when and where necessary to better meet their child’s needs through modeling, influencing, guiding, supporting, instructing, and monitoring the boundaries and expectations. I simply call this good parenting. @parent_coach[/ctt]

I loved my child before I ever saw her. I love my child still. I have a child with emotional and mental health problems. This is the child I love. This is the child I have. My daughter has the dubious distinction of being THE most discussed case history among therapists, behavioral assistants, and clinicians. One agency director informed me that she regularly uses my daughter’s case for training of her new case managers and therapists. It does not give a parent the warm fuzzies to hear repeatedly from mental health professionals, whom you look to for help, that your child’s case is the most difficult one they have ever seen.

These sentiments are my personal reflections.

They also match the experiences of some of the parents you will coach…parents, who struggle to move forward after facing the reality of one or more diagnoses like ADHD, Autism, Conduct disorder, Bipolar disorder. The effects on the family are the same. It triggers a parent’s worst nightmares.

[ctt template="5" link="XR801" via="yes" ]Concerns, fears, sleepless nights, and the search for answers begin. This is how a parent enters the world of mental health and special needs…a world where terminology is confusing and diagnoses sound like the unending combinations of an alphabet soup. @parent_coach[/ctt]

If care is not taken, a parent or teacher might begin to refer to the child by the labels of their diagnosis, and see in the child’s behaviors, both positive and negative, only symptoms of the same. As months or years of struggle pass, parents don’t differentiate which part of the behavior belongs to their child’s temperament, and which part is a symptom of the diagnosed condition.

Amid the onslaught of doctors, neurologists, medical tests, and therapists elucidating the deficits in their child’s development, parents easily lose sight of the child and concentrate on what they see most, the disorganized and dysregulated behavior.

The question that brings this home is simple: Which child do you see…one with special needs or one who is just plain special?

Become Trained and Certified in the Coaching Families With Special Needs Course