Then these two podcasts are for you! The first podcast was recorded for The Faster Than Normal Podcast with Peter Shankman and I'm so proud of this interview! It really highlights the journey that we've been on a family from feeling so embarrassed and fearful of the diagnosis, to feeling super proud and enlightened!Read More
"I believe that ADHD kids are here to change things. To shift old-fashioned parenting and schooling systems. They are here to heal us and make us see that we have been given this child for a reasonRead More
I have lived through a lens of fear for most of my life. I think even as a child I often lived through a lens of fear, and this ultimately shaped who I became; until now. It's hard sometimes to see life through a lens of love when there is so much fear around. We hear about fearful things all the time on the news, on the radio and all around us. We can be afraid of letting our children out of our site; we can be consumed with fear about our children's future and their health and well-being. Over the last few months, I've come to learn that no one can be truly happy when they are living a life in fear.Read More
Welcome to this weeks blog all about autism and the spiritual connection. Today's video blog are the opinions and feelings expressed by the beautiful autism mama's.
They share with me their children's unique, spiritual gifts and how their children's gifts bring love and joy into their families hearts. Each story was captivating, and although different, very much the same.
Wow, it’s been a while since I sent out a blog, times flies when you're having fun and being a mum to an ADHD child is never dull that's for sure! If you follow me on social media, you'll have seen that things are getting very exciting at the Susy Parker camp! If you’ve missed any of that, I thought I would send you an update to let you know that I'm working on a FREE Ebook for parents.Read More
For most of my adult life, I've been friends with fear. To the outside world, it doesn't look I’m friends with fear. I seem confident, happy, enthusiastic, bright and shiny, but my inner world is often full of fear and self-doubt. I've always been the same. One of the only people who truly see’s my fear is my husband, but I’m not even sure that he fully see’s it - I hide it so well.Read More
Two years ago, our life looked very different. The situation with our daughter who was seven at the time consumed my daily thoughts, and when I imagined our future all I could see was darkness. Even the pediatrician was asking me the darkest of questions:Read More
Two years ago I was going through one of the hardest times in my life, yet most days I uploaded photographs of my wonderful life and kids onto social media, and hashtagged about family, love and happiness. Today I want to share the real life behind the photographs to prove to people that behind most happy social media photographs is a world of hurt. These are my #reallife photographs!
My two daughters building sandcastles in the palm tree shadows in Noosa, Australia. I remember hashtagging the living daylights out of this photo. Hashtag daughters, hashtag happy, hashtag family. But what a load of tosh that was as I was sad, unhappy and struggling to parent my eldest daughter, who at the time was seven years old. This picture was taken two years ago when we were right in the middle of our ADHD journey with Sarah. We were on a road trip from Cairns to Brisbane and shortly after this picture was taken I completely lost my shit! It was a sweltering day and being so hot and sticky seemed to amplify the situation! Sarah had a massive screaming fit; I ended up screaming back at her, and then the other two kids started crying. I also started crying and as we drove off I noticed a family sitting on the deck of their house. I saw their faces; they had witnessed everything. I hated myself, and I hated who I had become.
This picture was in Cairns during the same road trip. It was a beautiful warm night, so the children ran off to play in the Esplanade lagoon by the beach. I was so used to losing Sarah, but on this night I decided not to be my usual 'helicopter mum', and to be more relaxed like all the other parents. I watched Sarah and her sister happily play in the pool with all the other kids and snapped this picture and posted to Instagram, hashtagging again about happiness and family. Minutes later, I realised that I had lost Sarah. I started to panic and ran around everywhere shouting her name. I was now definitely not like the other calm Mums who stood around chatting with children at their feet. I spent the next five minutes (which felt like a lifetime) running around frantically looking for Sarah. I eventually found her, screamed at her and found myself once again feeling like the worst Mum ever.
The picture I took of Sarah when she was going through her ‘car surfing’ faze. It was during a time when I was trying to embrace the ‘crazy’. I had no idea what the hell to do about her behaviour and shouting and timeouts were only making things worse. So, I tried to go with it - but this also didn’t work! Moments after posting it to Instagram and hashtagging about embracing my 'fun loving' daughter, Sarah had a meltdown. It took us about forty minutes to get her into the car. She was screaming, running off, hiding and shouting at us all. I cried buckets and told myself what a failure I was as a Mum.
I think it's so important for Mums to know that behind most of those 'happy photos' someone is going through something that they are to scared to share. They may have fallen out of love with their husband; they may hate being a mother and want so badly to go back to how things were when they were single. They may have had the worst row with their partner, family, friends or kids. They may be suffering from crippling anxiety, depression or loneliness. We all have something; every single one of us.
I wrote 'Saving Sarah' for all the Mums that are doing what I was doing. The Mums who are too scared to tell anyone the truth about their child. The Mums who hide what's going on because they feel they will be judged or their child will be judged. I wrote it for the Mums who are struggling so much to cope that have found themselves on antidepressants just to be able to function. To the Mums who’s relationships are falling apart because all they think, talk and dream about is their child. The Mums who are self-loathing and telling themselves that they are a failure. I wrote it for you.
You are not a failure; you are a hero. A hero because you are going through this pain every single day of your life. A hero for trying so hard to protect your child, your family and your relationship. You are at this point in your life, because your life has something to show you. It may not feel like it now, but this journey will eventually teach you something about you, your past, your life and everything that you are. You are being tested right now, but you can do this - the Universe has your back!
And remember; 'no one's life is as perfect as their social media', we are all going through something. Every, single, one of us. #reallife.
I have lost count of the number of times I have been in called in to meet with Sarah's teachers. It began when she was just three years old and had bitten another child at Nursery. At four years old, I was called into the school as she wasn't displaying any signs of empathy.
Then when Sarah was five, I was called in again, as she would often not listen to the teacher and was unable to sit still. However, I don't think anything could have prepared me for how often I would be called into school when Sarah turned six. At one point I was called in every week, sometimes twice a week.
Most of the children in Sarah's school had their NAPLAN results on Friday, but Sarah misplaced hers, which is the norm in our family. It was probably sitting next to her missing lunchbox, which was next to her missing homework bag, next to her missing shoes (I mean who loses their school shoes - they are on her feet)!
We always find them, sitting on a wall or they are left outside her class, or in the lost property box, so all is good; everything turns up in the end. It doesn't faze me anymore. So unlike the rest of the Australian children, we didn't receive Sarah's Naplan results until Tuesday. She took them out of her bag and ran to me clutching the envelope in her hands!
As you probably know by now, I have a tendency to write the longest blog posts (I am also well known for leaving the longest answer machine messages too)!
So, I thought this week I would make a little video for you all instead! The post-it note love is something that we started doing with Sarah about a year ago. I would leave little post-it notes in her lunch box or school bag, or somewhere in her room.
For any parent watching their child receive a merit certificate in the school assembly, is a 'proud parent moment'.
The anticipation, the smiles, the joy, the happiness. To see their face, light up as they hear their name, to watch them receive their merit, and to catch their glance and give them a thumbs up! For many parents, you can stop and breathe a sigh of relief as you must be doing something right.
Over the last few months, I had talked continually to friends and family about how fantastic Sarah was doing in school. She was improving with her reading and writing, making friends and after being selected to play violin in the school orchestra; life felt great!
I have also learned, however, that normality in our family doesn't happen for very long and that soon, issues could arise! A year ago we were called into the school most days, so with everything being so quiet on the Western front, I knew that things couldn't stay peaceful forever.
We all do it, some more than others, some every day, some hardly ever, but one thing is for sure; we all lose our shit at some time in the morning and yell at our kids. And today it was my turn.
And now as my kids have gone to school and Alex* has gone to family day care, I am writing this with utter regret and a heavy heart.
I try and make mornings as stress-free as possible as I know the slightest thing can set Sarah* off, and our morning can turn from 'happy-go'lucky' to complete and utter chaos! This morning Sarah wasn't the one that totally lost it; was me.
I once saw 'Everything will be OK' written on an air freshener at a service station, and I knew I had to have it in my life! That was 18 months ago and although it doesn't smell anymore (I have since stopped buying chemical smelly things), but it still takes pride of place in my car.
When times were hard with Sarah*, I used to stare at it every day. I would drive around aimlessly, tears running down my face, sadness in my heart and anxiety bursting through my chest. My thoughts raced, my smile lost and my emotions in tatters.
Today wasn't the easiest of mornings; I knew it wouldn't be, the children have just had five days off school, four days for Easter and then a yummy, extra day at home. The Easter break had been kind to us and Sarah's* behaviour overall had been excellent. A little testing at times, but no more than most kids who have eaten their entire body weight in chocolate, and not had enough sleep!
With five days off school, the change in the routine was going to hit Sarah like a tsunami tidal wave and we would all soon be paying for this change in the routine.
NAPLAN testing in the schools is happening in two weeks, and although for some kids it can bring a bit of anxiety, for ADHD children, it can be a game changer and a one-way route to a meltdown!
I had spoken to Sarah's* teacher about NAPLAN and told her that we hadn't even breathed the word in our house. I didn't want to put any pressure on her; I knew that this sort of thing could cause her ADHD anxiety levels to raise!
It was Mothers day; the sun was shining, the kids seemed happy so we decided that after breakfast, the whole family (eight of us if you include our three dogs) would head to the park.
After an enjoyable hour of simple stuff like throwing balls with the dogs, watching the kids play and of course the obligatory 'selfies' to capture the moment and share it with the world; we wandered home.
It's funny that most of us now struggle to just be in the moment. We feel like we need to capture it on an iPhone, hashtag the hell of out of it and then share it on 'social media' (I do this too by the way).