How does coaching help parents of children with special needs

How does coaching help children with special educational needs.jpg


The journey of parenting is a tough one regardless of what sort of child you parent. There are all sorts of emotions to handle, guilt, worry, anxiety, competitiveness, feelings of fear, frustration or even resentment. Of course, there are the positive emotions too but we tend not to focus on those when life gets challenging. It’s the ‘hard’ stuff that we put under the magnifying glass and can often lead us to a place of overwhelm. Balancing money worries, work commitments our own health, friendships, sleep and wellness.

Now, magnify all of that bigger, and bigger and bigger and bigger. Then you can start to imagine what life as a parent raising a child who has ‘special needs’ might involve. Special needs could mean the child is on the autistic spectrum or have physical, emotional, social, developmental or behavioural challenges. It means that what you might ‘usually’ expect from your child – what you had planned for – is unlikely to be happening. It also means that it is most likely that alongside one challenge or disability or delay there are any number of other challenging factors as a result.

As anyone knows, parenting was never meant to be an easy journey but when the usual mile stones are not met and words like developmental delay are voiced it brings with it a vast array of complex feelings and emotions for the parent of a child with special needs.  Fears, exhaustion, helplessness and loneliness to name a few. Quite often the system and society we live in contributes to this further - leading to more anxiety, stress and worry. A lack of compassion or understanding from your partner, family or school. Or balancing the needs of a special needs child and their sibling. Quite often this is all impacted further due to having to pursue different types of support - from social services, the national healthcare system or the educational system. 


Some of the issues that you may be challenged by as a parent of a child with special needs include: 

  • Fully accepting their needs

  • Becoming your child’s campaigner and advocate

  • Handling the education system or healthcare system

  • Establishing a routine or lifestyle that best supports you and your child 

  • Connecting to yourself and fully understanding your fears

  • Creating awareness in your child’s school, peer group or your own peer group or family

Coaching can be used as a space from which a clear sense of direction can be identified. A place where you ask ‘what now’ and ‘how’ and look at your options in a supportive partnership which will assist you in identifying the hurdles and emotional pitfalls and lead you to discover more empowering ways to live your life. 


Coaching can help you to become more self-aware and enable you to identify thoughts, patterns and beliefs that are not serving you as a parent. Coaching can help you to find the areas of your life that are impacting your relationship with your child and support you to connect with them more fully by first connecting with yourself. 

It is my passion and mission to support as many parents as possible through Raising Spirit. 

I believe that as I have first-hand experience of what life is like to parent a child with complex barriers to learning and a host of physical and social challenges, I am able to share some of that vulnerability – having lived through it.  I intend for my experience, compassion and empathy to support other parents of children with special needs and to make a long-lasting impact to your life. 

My personal experience and understanding of what it is like to parent a child with special needs allows me to hold a unique position as a coach and complementary healthcare practitioner. My ambition is always to help you ensure your personal journey raising a child with special educational needs is met with compassion for your child but also and most importantly for you as a parent.


“Start by doing what’s necessary then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” Francis of Assisi  


On a SEN Mission: Striving for a better future for parents of non-neuro typical children


This is my first blog to welcome you to Raising Spirit. 

It took adrenal burnout, a near breakdown and the loss of my major work contract to tip me over the point of no return and to seriously re-evaluate my life and what was going on for me. An unfulfilling career had been an ongoing factor for years, but as a single mum with a child on the disability register – the contract was a 'god send’ ! It enabled me to work from home, exhausted but not be seen, cry and have no one be any wiser. At least I was being paid well and could wash the shitty pants and scrub the toilet when required in my lunch break!

Life was good!!

Well, I survived but the fatigue started to take its toll after I eventually got my son into the right school. It had followed years of battle with the local education authority and ridiculous amounts of private therapy assessments, endless sleepless nights for one reason or another and having to move homes five times, that’s an average of every other year with a child with sensory issues – you get the picture!

So, Raising Spirit evolved from the fatigue and the need to get it all out, a cathartic process that before I knew it was 70,000 words long with one clear focus. Help others to get through their journeys and not end up in the same state as me. Turn everything i'd learnt into a positive attribute, all the hard times, all the pain - be a positive contribution.

Helping parents of non-nuero typical children find their way through the dark times and into the light has become my mission. The statistics speak for themselves, marital breakdowns, loss of careers, depression, anxiety, stress: These parents have the hardest job in the world and it is made harder by the systems, society and the fact it is just torturous loving our little spirits with all our might and wondering how on earth they will ever find their way.

It is utterly exhausting: finding the therapy, doing the therapy, getting the diagnosis, sticking to the job, the family. The demands are high and so are the stakes.

Raising Spirit, aims to reach these parents and help. Coaching, workshops, advice, alternative therapy guidance and resources. I hope your journey with Raising Spirit truly supports you on your path to a sense of freedom and peace of mind with your children.

A favourite quote:

When you can’t control what’s happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what’s happening. That’s where your power is!


Clare x