Interview Connie Hammer, Parent Coaching for Autism Part 2

Interview Connie Hammer, Parent Coaching for Autism Part 2

Thanks for stopping by to read Interview Connie Hammer,  Parent Coaching for Autism Part 2. We are happy that Connie Hammer, MSW & PCI Certified Parent Coach, is taking part in of our successful Author Interview Series.  Part 1 of Connie Hammer’s interview  is here. I had the pleasure of reviewing some of Connie Hammer’s parenting resources and the links are at the end of this post.

Please Note: We updated this post Jan.27th 2017

Lorna: On your site Parent Coaching for Autism, I see you have two free products and Workshops and Tele-Classes as well as Coaching Services. For the review of the potty training program, I listened to your upbeat, encouraging voice on a tele-class on toilet training your child with Autism, so I can see you are very capable of providing coaching by phone as well as in person.  Explain this part of your work.

Connie Hammer>>Yes, in part 1 I mentioned my free ecourse and my other free offer is my weekly newsletter called, The Spectrum, which offers weekly parenting tips that address the needs of parents of kids with Autism. It is my way of connecting with the parents that want to get to know me better.

There are so many things being offered on the internet these days and it can be difficult to tell if something will be worth your time, energy and money. My ezine allows parents to determine that for themselves to see if they want to take the next step to either try one of my programs, purchase one of my products or hire me as their personal parenting coach.

I offer personal coaching services to all parents but my passion is supporting parents of children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in person or by phone. I have worked with parents from around the country in various formats; face to face in my immediate area or spending one or two days with parents (flying to them at their expense) who take advantage of my most expensive option of VIP coaching but most parents will choose weekly phone coaching sessions.

Some parents are open to joining two to three other like-minded parents facing the same concerns to form a coaching group which is a more affordable option. These usually turn out to be wonderful ongoing sources of support for them.

Parent coaching is a relatively new field that offers parents another option for addressing the challenges they face in today’s world. I call it a new age resource for age old parenting issues that engages parents in an extraordinary series of focused conversations guaranteed to replace their worries, concerns and doubts with solutions, relief, results, confidence and joy.

This type of coaching is very convenient for parents because it can occur from the comfort of their own home. We both appreciate the luxury of attending a coaching session on the other end of a phone line with our hair in curlers and bunny slippers on our feet : ), unless of course we choose the video option that Skype offers. Eliminating the need to travel or find childcare makes this model extremely enticing to many parents.

Looking back to my days as a new parent, I would have loved to have someone coach me and help me progress more quickly along my parenting path. Yes, I always had a lot of information through books and other resources at my fingertips that I took advantage of yet when I tried to implement what I learned and put it into practice, I often found myself overwhelmed and easily frustrated.

Despite my professional experience, I believe it is always most challenging for people to help themselves because it is difficult to be clear and objective when you are starring in your own movie (that’s why they have directors, right?). The thought of having an expert guide me in an encouraging way to persevere towards the outcome I desired would have been priceless to me back then.

Every parent has a vision for the children they bring into this world and when that vision is shattered by a diagnosis of Autism, extra guidance that can save valuable time is often welcome. Dealing with the whirlwind of emotions and the mountain of choices they have to make, such as learning a different yet more effective way to connect with their special needs child, finding the right resources and therapies, negotiating school systems and much, much more, is a daunting ordeal.

There is so much to learn once a suspicion sets in or a diagnosis is made that your child has a developmental delay and so little time to act. Early intervention is crucial for these children and I enjoy helping these parents navigate this most confusing and overwhelming journey. Watching these families come from devastation and blossom into something wonderful is very uplifting.

If someone were to ask me what I enjoy most as a coach, my answer would be – everything! Anything I can do to relieve a parent’s stress, enhance their confidence and make them smile is enjoyable to me. I love serving as an extra set of eyes and ears for parents and offering them a fresh perspective by encouraging them to think outside the box.

As a parent coach, I enjoy supporting and guiding these parents to become the parents they were meant to be and parent the children they were meant to have. The amazing transformation that takes place for my clients during the coaching sessions, as well as for myself, has me hooked. Each journey may be different yet all of my clients have taught me so much and have helped me grow in many ways. It’s a win-win situation for both of us and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Lorna: Often we hear, “What did parents of special needs children do before they could find information on Google, downloadable parenting programs, or the many books published these past few years on special needs?  I was one of those parents and we STRUGGLED and felt FRUSTRATED!  What advice to you have for families who find themselves with children with high needs to feel less alone and helpless?

Count your blessings that you live in an age where so much information is available at the flip of a page or a click of a mouse but do be wary of the options out there.

The vast abundance of therapies and remedies offered can be overwhelming and confusing to any parent. In addition to the long list of traditional treatments that exist, there are innumerable alternative treatments that are being promoted everywhere you look.

Many of these alternative treatments are not covered by insurance so if you are going to spend money out of pocket make sure it is suited to your child’s needs. There may be some non-established treatments out there that could help your child but rushing into them without doing your homework first is not the best way to approach what might be a health or financial risk. So do your research and don’t be afraid to ask for references or testimonials.

My other piece of advice is to be proactive, start now to look forward to the future and your child’s transition into adulthood, it is never too early to begin.

Lorna:  I saw you use this great quote, “Uncovering abilities to change possibilities.” Is there a story behind it? Can you give us an example of this?

Connie Hammer>> I created this as a tag line because it describes exactly what I feel I do with parents when I coach them. I help parents uncover their child’s, as well as their own, abilities in order to open new doors that will change mindsets and create all sorts of new possibilities. There is so much about our children and our parenting that we take for granted in this society. I encourage parents to go on a treasure hunt and explore the wonderful gift they have before them. Every child has amazing things to offer but they are not always obvious so we often have to dig deep but that is the only way we will discover new possibilities.

I am also a strong believer in self-care for parents, especially the primary care provider which is most often but not always the mom, because that alone can change possibilities. I am very adamant about helping my clients discover tactics that will enhance or improve the way they take care of themselves. I firmly believe that parents are no good to their children unless and until they make themselves a priority as well.

The results are always extremely positive whenever I help a parent establish a self-care routine that works for them. With that in mind I would like to share a resource I offer my clients. Suggestion: Copy, paste and print, then put it where you will see it everyday.

Seven Simple Statements for Taking Care of “Me”

1. I will grow in gratitude and appreciation everyday to create a large reserve of positive energy that will sustain me through times when negative energy attacks.

2. I will learn to trust my inner wisdom. When stressed, I will stop and take a deep relaxing breath then listen to my authentic voice tell me what to do.

3. I will focus on what “I” think is best and not what others think I “should” do.

4. I will lower the negative energy around me by recognizing “old baggage” and identifying who or what drains me, then find a way to eliminate the extra weight.

5. I will resurrect my sense of humor! I will slow down and tell more jokes because laughter is contagious and shifts the focus away from stress.

6. I will recognize that recess is not the same as PE; organized physical exercise is good but raw abandonment in active play is freeing to my body and soul!

7. I will share my self-care goals with my family! I will let them know how my self-care benefits everyone and ask for their support.

Copyright ©2011 Connie Hammer, all rights reserved. Used with permission

Lorna: Tell us how our readers can access Connie Hammer, parent coaching for autism.

Connie Hammer>>I invite all parents to take advantage of my complimentary 15-minute phone consultation – a mini chat over a ‘virtual cup of coffee’ – so I can listen to their story and offer them some quick guidance.

 

Parenting Strategies and Support Programs for Children with Autism by Connie Hammer

You can also find me here:

They can also access my FREE resources – a parenting ecourse, Parenting a Child with Autism – 3 Secrets to Thrive and a weekly parenting tip newsletter, The Spectrum, by visiting my website www.parentcoachingforautism.com 

Or they can email me their questions at connie@parentcoachingforautism.com

My deepest appreciation to you Lorna for this opportunity to be interviewed by you!

Lorna: Thank you so much for arranging for the review of one of your programs and this interview. And this is not all; Connie was my guest February 20th 2012 on The Coffee Klatch Tweetchat.  Topic: You guessed it: Potty Training!

Autism Parenting: Practical Strategies for a Positive School Experience by Connie HammerRead Also:

 

This post was written by Lorna
Lorna d’Entremont: Co-owner of SentioLife Solutions, Ltd. the company behind KidCompanions Chewelry (2007) and SentioCHEWS (2013), mother of three, grandma of 5 and wife. She is a retired teacher and special needs advocate. Throughout she has taught all levels from grade 2 to grade 9. Lorna loved teaching and enjoyed seeing the students progress in the school system. During her 30 year career she took a few years off to raise her three children.
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