How a No-bull Friend Changed My Life – and My Son’s
Hi, I’m Sue Simmons. I help Moms who are overwhelmed by autism take back their power, so they can feel confident as parents, and connect joyfully with their child!
Many years ago, ASD robbed me of my ability to parent my child. With skilled and compassionate support, I turned things around. Here’s my story.
My son was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder when he was 5, after a long and difficult search for answers. My daughter was just days away from her first birthday. At that time I felt powerless, guilty, dazed-and-confused, and yet ever-in-love with my child.
I went on a mission to learn how to “manage autism.” I attended courses, researched solutions, learned “strategies” and so on — only to feel overwhelmed and exhausted. Can you relate?
The frustration of chronically putting out fires, and the guilt of losing my patience eroded my soul. I was angry at myself and my situation. As a “good” mom, I put my children first and ignored my own needs and desires. I felt guilty, sad and exhausted. It was all too much – physically, mentally and emotionally.
Then one day a conversation with a close, “no-bull” friend took me to the mat. She saw beneath my story, and called me on it.
She pointed out how bitterly unhappy I was, and reminded me that my kids felt my negative emotions each and every day. She made me realize that my mental state wasn’t conducive to being a good parent. It didn’t make me a bad mom – I did tons of great things for and with my kids. It meant that my stress, overwhelm and difficulty managing were robbing me of my ability to really help him.
She asked me if I’d put my son in the care of someone who didn’t have it together. If I’d jeopardize his future by putting him on a plane with a strung-out, over-reactive pilot at risk of crashing. Ouch.
She was absolutely right. I was walking on eggshells daily. Unhealthy patterns had developed between us. I couldn’t parent him, because I was always reacting. It made me feel awful. I thought I was doing my part by paying for therapy, lessons, “stuff to stave off meltdowns” and camps, because I didn’t know how to help him myself.
I had heard about an ASD parenting program, but in my mind I was “surviving” and there was no way to fit parent coaching into my life!
Then it hit me. I didn’t have the skills to do this “autism parenting” thing alone. Good intentions aside, I was the strung-out pilot who was about to crash and burn — and bring my family down with me!
I learned the hard way that these skills aren’t “innate.” They have to be learned.
I couldn’t be expected to know how to do this, but if I was committed to giving my son the best life possible, I’d have to learn how – and that was my responsibility. No one could parent my child for me!
Finally, I had connected the dots between getting support for myself — my ASD parenting challenges — and my son’s future!
I found a wonderful Certified RDI® Program Consultant, and got started. It was amazing to have ongoing support. I had a plan!! There was no way I could have done it on my own. I needed someone objective and skilled to guide me. She was my sounding board, my cheerleader and my coach.
In a step-by-step fashion, she helped me change the way I parented my son dramatically. It felt great, for me and for him.
As I became more competent and learned to involve him in simple, ’round the house things, he felt more successful, and I began to feel empowered!
I had conquered my ASD parenting challenges. My stress was manageable, and most importantly I had my son back! Even better, a great deal of what I learned was applicable to my daughter.
I used to think that getting help for myself was selfish. I can’t imagine where we’d be now if I hadn’t. I grew as much as he did. I learned how to be an effective Captain on the Good Ship ASD, and we made it!
That was several years ago. My journey ignited a desire to help others experience for themselves what is truly possible for their children with ASD. So I embarked on yet another adventure, and trained under the founders of the RDI Program in Houston, TX. I’ve been Certified every year since. Over the last 10 years I’ve amassed a wealth of experience, along with earning my Certified Professional Coach designation through the International Coach Academy. My highly unique approach is flexible, practical, and transformative. It’s entirely based on research in child development, neuropsychology, and most recently – the fastest growing energy modality in the world – EFT, also known as “tapping.”
So, what’s it like to work with me? Here’s a recent testimonial from one of my amazing clients:
“Working with Sue Simmons is the single most important thing I have done for my family’s well-being. Her passion for helping families, her knowledge, experience, insight and dedication are truly exceptional. She understand the challenges I face as the mother of two “twice-exceptional” sons. She brings a holistic approach, based in current research and best practice, as well as deep sympathy in helping me identify and shift negative patterns within my family. And she supports me in finding a healthy, productive balance in my own life. Sue knows how easy it is to lose yourself in your family’s and children’s needs. Without her guidance, I don’t think I would have made it this far. Every mother deserves a support and a resource like Sue Simmons!”
Click here to learn about my work, and how I can help you!