Hi there! I’m Kirsty Russell – author, speaker, consultant, wife and mother to three wonderful kids. I’m a special needs parent, taxi driver, personal assistant, hostage negotiator, private chef and… well, all those jobs that go part-and-parcel with being a Mum!
I’ve been sharing my experiences about caring for my kids, advocating for their needs and looking after myself as a carer since 2011, first at My Home Truths and, since 2017, here at Positive Special Needs Parenting. I also contribute to other publications as time permits, namely Kiddipedia, Mumtastic and ABC Open. I want to spread awareness of what special needs families face, share the positives, as well as the negatives and help change others’ perceptions of disability, caring and special needs.
Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to work with service providers to help them better understand the needs of not just children with special needs, but their parents and families. I have also been very privileged to share the stories and experiences of many other special needs parents, having a laugh about the good times and supporting each other through the rough parts.
Being a parent to a child with special needs is a unique and challenging experience, but not an unrewarding one. I make it my mission to find the joys in this whole ugly mess we call life, and to share the positives. It is my belief that building strong connections with others, learning to be a powerful advocate for our children, and choosing to find the positives in our experiences makes us better parents, happier families and stronger individuals.
I’M UNIQUELY POSITIONED TO HELP
In 2011, I began my work as a special needs parenting advocate at My Home Truths. In the six years I maintained the site, it grew to be recognised as a respected voice in the special needs parenting sector. It was named as a Bupa Blog Award finalist in 2016, acknowledged for the quality advice and genuine support it provided.
Building on that reputation, I’ve spoken to parents, special education teachers and professionals on a range of topics at community and professional forums. I’ve delivered teacher information sessions, parent support presentations, addressed local community groups and been a featured speaker at a local travel expo.
I’ve been on radio, print and TV media, discussing autism, albinism and general parenting subjects. Last year, I presented two sessions to delegates at the 2017 Asia Pacific Autism Conference (APAC) in Sydney. Help yourself to my presentation slides and resources.
I’ve also worked on projects with small and large organisations, such as CatholicCare, Autism Spectrum Australia and One Stop Sensory Shop. I’ve created program outlines, delivered parent information sessions, presented information at staff training days and developed email marketing campaigns.
In 2017, I published a guide to travelling as an autism family, Autism Family Travel, to help other families get out there and travel. Most recently, I was appointed as a community representative to Newcastle City Council’s Disability Inclusion Advisory Committee (DIAC), to assist Council with the implementation of the Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2016-2019 and advise on local matters related to disability inclusion in Newcastle.
I’m passionate about helping families, schools, community organisations and disability service providers. I’m committed to helping all stakeholders better understand and support children, to improve working relationships and achieve better outcomes. Let me help you too.
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