There is nothing quite like attending a conference or a workshop and leaving feeling energized, validated and understood. You know that feeling, right? It’s like a giant sigh of relief and a reminder that this unique parenting is doable. But, then you leave that space and you return to your home. Maybe you maintain that zen approach for 3 days, or a week at most and something happens and you slide right back into that overwhelmed, exhausted state you were in before. How can you get back to that space where you are in control of your feelings and reactions? I have the answer: Caregiver Kick Start!
A couple of months ago, we had a guest speaker at our adoption support and advocacy group. Jeff Noble, FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder) trainer, writer, speaker came to London. His speech was well attended, enlightening, humorous and full of smart takeaways. He was the best speaker we had all year. But I left wanting more.
When you parent a child with special needs, you become extremely familiar with a level of exhaustion you never thought possible. That exhaustion grows every single year. In addition to parenting, there’s the constant health care needs, doctor’s appointments, therapies, plus the continued advocacy at school and community level for our kids. Add to that the fact that resources are limited. In Ontario we fight tooth and nail to get diagnosis, only to find there isn’t any support. Jeff Noble is a resource in an area where people are starving for help, information and strategies. I wrote about my experience attending a two hour FASD talk Jeff Noble gave to our adoptive parent’s group this spring. That was a great start. But I wanted more. I have heard many testimonials from many parents regarding Caregiver Kick Start so this year I am taking part.
You know that spiel the flight attendant gives you when you board a plane? If the plane starts to lose altitude, and the masks drop from the ceiling….put your mask on first. If you don’t put on your mask first, you can’t help anyone else. If you aren’t breathing neither is the rest of the family. Caregiver Kick Start is like that. It’s the breathing apparatus we need to be able to parent these great, but challenging children and youth. Put your mask on. Take care of you. Join me at Caregiver Kick Start.
Noble is a great resource for caregivers dealing with challenging behaviours from this particular disability. He is a former foster parent to a youth with FASD. So, he gets it. He has a dedicated Facebook (FASD Forever) and Twitter presence and he has some fabulous Youtube videos too. I have been passively using his videos and following his Facebook posts for at least a year. Do I use his strategies enough? Not nearly. I love showing some of his videos to my one daughter, because he interviews kids and youth and young adults with FASD. It’s a wide range of outcomes and every personality is different. My favourite is one about a young lady who won a beauty pageant and is a very accomplished pianist as well. It reminds me and my daughter that anything is possible with the right support.
I am going to invest in my sanity and jump into his Caregiver Kick Start program. I have heard dozens of glowing reports about how useful it has been for other parents, adoptive parents, teachers, social workers and grandparents raising children on the spectrum.
Caregiver Kick Start begins next month. Jeff has dozens of smart posts, videos and resources all available already. His Caregiver Kick Start is more than that. It is a series of sessions on line that will help you to get better understanding of your child. It will help you be better prepared to manage your child’s unique needs. There are six sessions with well known speakers and one meet and greet session too. Each session is recorded so don’t panic if you miss a session.
Get started here: SIGN up for Jeff’s emails which are helpful all year round and you can easily access the Caregiver Kick Start program. SEE YOU THERE!