When a parent receives a diagnosis for their child, life changes in an instant, especially if that diagnosis is life limiting. It is difficult for those who have not experienced this first-hand, to appreciate the extent of the impact a special needs diagnosis has on a parent or family. I understand that.
For parents who seek to re-establish confidence in their abilities as a parent and as a person, or would like to learn more, obtain advice and grow holistically, read on.
Once you begin by accepting that your child will be different – not better or worse – just different, that is the first step to their future. The Holistic Parent
I am Sinead, The Holistic Parent. I am based in Co. Meath; Ireland and I have worked with families of children and adults with special needs for over 16 years as a parenting mentor, educator and consultant. In the early years I also volunteered with Enable Ireland. I do not have a child or adult with special needs; therefore, my experience is through the eyes of an empathic and compassionate observer. In my work I see first-hand, the struggles and realities of the families with whom I work.
Since I have been working as a special needs parenting mentor and therapist, I have encountered diagnoses of ASD, Downs Syndrome, Angelman’s, William’s Syndrome, KCNQ2 and other genetic disorders. The intellectual and physical disabilities have ranged from mild to severe or profound. Having a background in psychology as well as holistic health helps me to approach your family’s situation from a scientific and an empathic, compassionate, and holistic standpoint.
When you leave the doctor’s office having received news which may have changed your life and that of your family, forever, your role is altered. You are no longer simply a parent to your child but have become their voice, their advocate, and their champion, in ways you perhaps never considered you would need to be. Quite often, there is rarely enough time to process the news before you find yourself learning all you can and becoming an expert in your child’s diagnosis and this new learning will often include learning about comorbidities* too.
*issues which often accompany a main diagnosis
What does working with The Holistic Parent look like?
You will receive the benefit of my expert parenting support and understanding. I can be an assistant to you, as you navigate this new road. I will guide and advise you, mentoring you so you can enhance your confidence and embrace your inherent resources. I will support you as you gather the information you need to support your child. I become part of the village you need to help you raise your child with special needs.
I am cognisant that the experience of each child and adult with special needs is as unique as any other individual and therefore the diagnosis is usually quite unique too. Despite this, there are also universal elements relating to childhood and parenting which do not differ. The doctors, psychologist, occupational therapists, etc., will work with you regarding the medical needs and those relating to disabilities. I however, work with you as you parent your child, in the every-day world that is family life.
The ‘Special Needs Parenting’ programmes are for parents of children or adults. There are very real, very practical needs for every family, and these are often lost to the appointments, medical care, protocols etc., It is important to me, that you are supported as a PARENT to your child and adult with special needs, not just as their carer. The relationships are different, and I am passionate about you being able to experience being a parent, even when you are also your child’s carer.
The programmes are dual purpose, to provide stimulus and learning for your child or adult as well as providing learning and education for you as the parent. Sometimes, where there are other family members in the home, the ‘Family Parenting’ programme can also provide additional support. I want to help you explore the possibilities for your child and you as their parent. Your parenting journey may be different now, to the one you imagined, but it will still be fulfilling, exciting and joyful.
The ‘Special Needs Children & Parenting’ Programme begins at €499*. It includes : –
- 3 x 1hr 15mins weekly or fortnightly sessions
- Includes 3 months Silver VIP Membership to The Holistic Parent Village
- Ongoing email support during the duration
- Access to additional online learning and information resources
*Prices relate to online sessions. They may further vary dependent on the number of issues to be addressed, i.e. working with a child, working with an adult, and/or working with the parent(s) or caregivers
Knowledge of what is possible, is the beginning of happiness. George Santayana (Philosopher & Humanist)
I am insured, qualified, and certified to work with children under 16 years and have completed mandatory Children First safety and awareness training, which is a necessity for anyone working with children and young people in Ireland. I am also Garda* Vetted, a member of the Psychological Society of Ireland, The Teaching Council of Ireland and am a friend of Enable Ireland.
NB: Please note, I am not a medical practitioner and would never advocate the use of any practice over the importance of any prescribed medical advice. Your General Practitioner (GP) and Public Health Nurse (PHN) are responsible for your medical care.
*Garda is short for An Garda Síochana, which is the Irish Police Force.
The Holistic Parent can support parents globally!
Look at this sample case study to see how issues can be resolved through working with The Holistic Parent, Sinead C. Kavanagh.