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Course Overview

***This course is going to need an overhaul. Probably a complete overhaul and redo.  The info is good but it is out of context for this setting and needs to also include helping the right person first plus an intro to parent coaching.  This will be a precursor course to taking care of mom and will probably be a more expensive premium course and pretty much my capstone. I will suggest it as a prerequisite to taking care of mom ***

 

This course explores the need for change and the process of making it happen. Change isn’t a passive process. We’ll look at what it takes to move past fear and roadblocks, what type of change is necessary to achieve positive results, and how to make it happen (even when it feels completely impossible and overwhelming.)

 

Creating lasting peace and change is possible, but it takes a lot of hard work, patience, and commitment to make it happen. This lesson outlines what is involved in the Parent Transformation process and the high-level steps involved in moving from a place of burnout and exhaustion to loving the life you have, regardless of what your kids are or are not doing.

Update Note: The model outlined in this video is an older representation of the transformation process. Though the structure of the Parent Transformation Academy now uses a different model to represent the process, the basic principles and order in which we do things haven’t changed.

Click the blue tabs below to open the lesson segments.

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Lesson 1

Combined Parent Journey and making change happen courses

If you’re like most moms of special needs kids, you have a mountain of documents, diagnoses, evaluations, school records, photos, and notes regarding your child. Before we move and truly get the results we’re looking for in the transformation process, we’ve got to pause and get organized.

The goal of this lesson is to gather everything you’ve got, pull it all together, get it out of your head (and your emotional space) and put all of it in a place that is both accessible and secure. You will eventually be using all of it to create a very clear picture of who your child is, what their issues are, what has and hasn’t worked, and what you’ve tried so far in order to help them.

Parent Transformation Journey
Confronting Change

Change can be scary!

Even when we know it needs to happen, just the thought of change can be overwhelming and downright terrifying. This lesson is all about confronting that fear and facing it head-on in a positive way in order to help you start the process of moving forward.

This lesson as a workbook and quiz

 

Making Real Change Happen

It’s not you. It’s the process!

Failing to make positive change happen isn’t about lack of willpower, lack of trying, or a character flaw. More often than not, it has everything to do with not fully understanding the process and not having the right tools or support in place. In this lesson, you’ll learn what elements need to be in place in order to make those changes you desire become a reality. 

This lesson has a workbook and quiz

 

Why does this process work
Lesson Assignment
Lesson Assignment:  Once you complete all the topics AND have pulled all your records together in some kind of organized fashion, download and complete the Lesson Assignment. Your completed assignment will be upload for review and comments as part of the quiz. If you need help knowing how to do this, see the Assignments and Workbooks segment of the Academy Overview course.

Lesson Slides
Lesson Workbook
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Lesson 2

Document Everything!

There really can’t be enough said for documenting as much as you possibly can about your child. As you likely already know, life with a struggling kid is unpredictable and has a way of throwing us into situations we couldn’t previously imagine. Good documentation has saved many a family a whole lot of heartache when those situations arise. 

Long story short, If you’ve got something that pertains to your child and/or helps to tell their complete story, document it. If you have a tense incident with your child that someone could question if your child suddenly decided to spin a story about it and tell them about it, write down your account and email it to yourself so it is date and time stamped. You really can’t overdo it when it comes to documentation. 

The rest of this lesson is all about helping you pull your records together and make something meaningful and useful out of them. 

Write It All Down!
Write It All Down! 1

Write it down!

Now that your documents are all nicely and neatly organized, it’s time to use them to create a concise summary of your child’s history, needs, and what you’ve tried so far in order to help them. Let’s face it. We live in a busy, noisy world. No one has time or will take the time to pour over all your child’s records to figure out the whole picture of what is really going on. However, you know your child better than anyone. If you take the time to pull everything together and can hand them a prepared written summary that paints a clear picture of your child’s issues and their needs, you will have their attention.

A detailed summary that is well organized and easy to read can go a long way in obtaining the right help, preventing misdiagnosis and misunderstandings, and helping others better understand the depth and complexity of your child’s issues. There are benefits for you, too. Most professionals (including doctors, educators, and therapists) are very science minded. They love documentation. They love facts. They love having concrete evidence they can touch and hold. They love data that can be compared and measured.

On the other hand, they don’t love listening to exhausted, frustrated, emotionally charged moms ramble on about their sweet angel’s so-called issues. They don’t love guessing or vague answers. They also don’t love hearing about or researching things that don’t fit the norm or are outside the scope of their current training. By showing up differently and giving them what they love, you will be seen and heard and listened to differently. No longer are you just a “pain in the rear, overprotective parent.” You suddenly become someone who speaks their language, knows what they are talking about, and can be trusted as an advocate for this child.

Keep it Doable. Make it Presentable!
Keep it doable. Make it presentable! 1

Write a good summary!

An effective summary should be easy to read and include information about your child’s history, medical and mental health history, and behavior issues.  Any diagnoses, medication history, school issues, and what you’ve tried so far to help this child are also good to include. In short, the goal is to create a clear picture of your child, their history, and their needs that you can pull out on a moment’s notice and share with others. 

 Where do I start?

Admittedly, the documentation process can feel quite overwhelming. To make the process a little easier, I’ve created a documentation workbook as part of this lesson. This workbook is a fillable form that you can either complete digitally or you can print a hard copy and fill it out by hand. The purple boxes won’t show when it is printed.

If you use the fillable form feature, be sure to download the document to your own device before starting to fill it in. Any changes made to the pre-download original will not be saved. If you will be using this workbook for several kids, be sure to save a blank copy. Then use the “save as” option to give your document a file name that is different than the original before you make any changes to it. That way you can use the same master document for each child. Don’t forget to save your work after making any changes!

If you prefer to create your own digital format using a spreadsheet or word processing table, that’s totally fine. If you do it that way, I recommend following the basic format I’ve outlined in the workbook for each category you are documenting. Keep it simple, keep it easy to read and skim, keep it well organized, and make sure your document is set up in a printable format.

Especially when you’re first getting started, printing a hard copy of the workbook to use as a draft copy can be very helpful. This is definitely my preferred way of getting this job done! I like having a readily available “messy copy” to record my thoughts as they come. There is plenty of space for writing in the boxes by hand. You can then transfer your draft notes into a prettier digital version later if you want to. 

Documenting the harder stuff…

Though the gory details of the harder stuff may or may not be included in your summary, I still strongly recommend recording details of difficult situations or interactions with your child, your reaction and response to those situations, the details of school meetings, people you’ve worked with, and people you’ve contacted to try to get help but have refused (and why.)

Not every interaction you have with your child needs to be documented. You do want to document enough to establish and pinpoint behavior patterns, though.  If repeat behaviors are happening on a frequent basis, it might serve you well to document what time of day they’re happening and also a bit of context about what preceded the incident and what might have set your child off.

Also, if you have a particularly tense situation or altercation with your child (especially if it is something that could be misinterpreted or questioned by someone else), for your own protection, it is wise to document your version of what happened. This documentation should include information about how the situation started, what happened, what you did, and what your child did. It should also be written on the same day as the event happened!

A great way to document this kind of stuff is by emailing a synopsis of what happened to yourself. The biggest benefit of doing this is that your record will automatically be time and date stamped. This makes stuff easy to find …and heaven forbid, should anything happen down the road and you get questioned about it weeks later, your time and date stamped documentation is all right there with fresh and accurate details.  Another benefit of emailing the details to yourself is that you can easily tag and archive these records in a separate email folder that you don’t have to look at or see again unless you have a need to access it.

As for school meetings, I made myself a little form that included the date, the purpose of the school meeting, who was in attendance, what were the results (or promised results) and then a summary of who said and did what. The schools don’t do this…but it can come in handy for you if they fail to follow through on what was promised. I do keep these notes with my child’s other school records. Yes, I have pulled out the binder, flipped to my notes section, and reviewed exactly who said what during the meeting. When they can see I have a bunch of other notes just like it, they tend to listen a little more and take things a bit more seriously.

Can't I Just Share Digital Copies?
Can't I Just Share Digital Copies? 1

Isn’t sharing a digital copy good enough?

I talked about using paper vs. going paperless in my last lesson. Long story short, I’ve found that in most instances, using old school paper copies are still more effective than digital ones. This is especially true for these summaries! If you’re going to share this with someone, you want it to be something they can hold and touch and feel and they have to physically turn the pages to read everything. That way multiple senses are engaged and they are much more likely to pay more attention to it. Plus, handing them a hard copy denotes ownership. This is their copy to keep. It sends a clear message that this is something important that needs to be kept with their records and be included in your child’s files.

If you’re relying on your device to deliver the information for you, everyone knows that device is still yours, they are just borrowing it, and the information contained on it belongs only to you. Therefore it is much more likely to be glossed over and treated as something nice, but not essential or relevant to them.

Even if you email a document to them, there is no guarantee they will ever see it again. Most emails are sent to a general office email and taken care of by the front office staff. If you want to make sure a certain person sees and reviews a document, you’ve got to hand them a paper copy. 

Furthermore, not everyone needs every piece of information or documentation you have. For example, a doctor probably doesn’t need or care about your detailed interactions with the school and the school doesn’t need your child’s medication history. Providing paper copies allows you to customize things that give each person or team member only what they need. Carrying paper copies of all of it with you in your information binder allows you to share more if more is needed, though.

Documentation Isn't a One Time Experience
Documentation Isn't a One-Time Experience 1

Documentation isn’t a one-time experience!

Your documents, especially your summaries, are living documents that will continually change and be added to as new interactions happen with different people. So, set thing up in a way that works for you and that you can maintain over time. Keep everything together, both physically and digitally. Especially if you create multiple digital files for your records, use a consistent file naming structure and keep everything together in its own folder so you can easily find it and add to it later. Taking time to get this set up right at this stage will pay off big time in the future!

It’s time now to get cracking and get it done. Happy documenting!

Documentation Workbook
Lesson Assignment:  Once you have completed the Documentation Workbook (or at least made some good headway on it), download and complete the “Document Everything” lesson assignment. Once you have answered all the questions and saved your work, upload the assignment worksheet (not your workbook) for comments and review.
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Meet your coach!

Diana Whiteheart - Parent Coach serving moms of children affected by reactive attachment disorder, complex PTSD, Developmental trauma disorder, FASD, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and other issues related to early childhood trauma exposure.Hi! I’m Diana. I’m a wife, a mom to 3 awesome (but challenging) kids, and I'm a certified parent and family coach. Two of my children came to me through adoption and struggle with all sorts of issues including FASD, RAD, ADHD, PTSD, mood disorders, learning disabilities, and a whole lot more.  Sometimes they’re my greatest challenge and always my greatest gifts. 

Though we’re far from perfect and we still have our less than stellar days, we are healing and we are happy. Our family is living proof that it can and does happen!

I’d love to help you find your way out, too!  I have a passion for helping hurting, exhausted moms and families find their way out of darkness and chaos and enjoy a greater sense of connection, peace, and harmony in their lives and in their homes. Learn more at serenitylinkscoaching.com

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