Last week, it was all about taking the leap. I published my first book, Autism Family Travel and I spoke at an international conference on autism, Asia Pacific Autism Conference 2017.
Pretty impressive leaps, in anyone’s language, don’t you think?
Despite my fears and my worries, with an interrupted preparation and ongoing family commitments, all turned out well. I’ve actually sold copies of the book (yippee!) and my two presentations at APAC17 were well received. I didn’t fall off the stage or say something offensive or bawl my eyes out (although I did come close to crying in my first presentation!)
A big thanks to Berinda Karp from Autism STEP Australia for taking these photos for me
APAC17 was a really positive experience and I’m proud of myself for taking a chance and working past my fears. It was terrifying putting myself out there but everyone was supportive and I came away with a new confidence in myself and in my path forward.
I began this blog for me, as a means to process my thoughts and share my experiences. In the almost seven years since I pressed publish on my first post, the blog has grown to be a place of support, information, advice and assistance for other special needs families. It has become so much more than I ever expected it to be.
In that time, my passion and interest in special needs parenting has transformed from a personal interest into a career. Since leaving formal paid employment three years ago, I’ve created a path for myself that is inevitably coming full circle. Initially I tried to find writing work in all fields, but I kept coming back to what I know best – being a special needs parent.
While I’m on the same path as I’ve always been, it’s time to take a new direction, as I formalise and attempt to professionalise what I do. Which is why, I’ve recently launched a new website, Positive Special Needs Parenting (PSNP).
You may have already noticed updated branding on the facebook page to reflect the new website, but, don’t fear, the content will remain very similar to what you’ve come to expect. The facebook page will share posts from both websites (PSNP and My Home Truths), as well as relevant content from all over the web, as I seek to share ideas that will help us all become more positive special needs parents.
I’ve created PSNP to address a need to bridge the gap between parents and providers. The term ‘parent’ also includes non-parental carers, while the term ‘provider’ covers educators, therapists, specialists, clinicians and anyone with a professional role in supporting children with any diagnosis.
From personal and anecdotal experience, I know there are differences in expectations, experience, confidence and understanding on both sides. To ensure our kids receive the help and support they need, it’s vital that parents and providers come together to form effective partnerships. I’m hoping to assist by helping parents become more confident and empowered in their advocacy and helping providers better understand the many challenges of being a special needs parent.
PSNP is a place for parents, to find advice, support and guidance. I will continue to blog my personal thoughts here but PSNP will be where I publish articles on helping others find the positives, grow their skills and learn how to become more accepting, positive and effective special needs parents.
PSNP is a place for educators & providers, to better understand and partner with parents. I will be offering writing, consulting, speaking and administrative services to professionals in the disability sector. By doing so, I hope to improve their relationships with parents & carers and, more importantly, improve outcomes for their children (their clients).
It’s a new direction but I’m hopeful I’ll be able to make real inroads into improving experiences for parents and providers alike. In the end, it’s all about supporting our kids and giving them every opportunity to be the best they can be. Cultivating positive partnerships between parents and providers in the early years, will go a long way to making anything possible for our kids.
Wish me luck as I embark on my new adventure (and don’t forget to keep checking in here, to get the low down as well!)
When was the last time you took a leap and embraced a new direction?