This is an article by Lynne Tapper a coach who has personal and professional experience of working with autistic people.
In the world of work, coaching is highly valued, in many cases it signals that you have reached a stage in your career when your employer recognises your worth and makes an investment, through coaching, to enable you to become the very best you can be.
Coaching is a process of being listened to, supported, and challenged to step outside your normal way of doing things and to take actions that lead to better results. It’s a chance to develop your thinking and beliefs, discover goals, and experiment with making changes so that you can become the best version of yourself. Coaching can transform lives.
As part of my coach training I put in hours of practice at coaching and being coached. We had to bring lots of different real-life issues to the coaching room. After I had exhausted my list of work-related issues, I ended up moving on to what I considered to be minor issues around some aspects of my family life with respect to my parenting.
I have four children and through adding up their combined years, I had over 70 years of parenting experience under my belt when I was a trainee coach. As parenting goes, I’m very experienced and I’ve always parented intentionally and thoughtfully, making small changes and adaptations to make things work as well as possible. I certainly wasn’t “failing” and yet the coaching I had around my parenting was transformational.
It was through coaching that I realised that I had been unconsciously judging my youngest teenage daughter about her intense interest and love of beautiful things. When she’d yet again flash me her phone screen, showing me another item of clothing or a must-have puppy, I could feel myself getting irritated, I felt put upon. I believed she was demanding more from me than I wanted to give and I worried that she was becoming too materialistic, something that did not sit comfortably with my own values. Her extensive birthday and Christmas wish lists always left me feeling a little disturbed and dismayed, whilst I positively brimmed with pride at the frugal requests I had to prise from my sons. My light bulb moment, which came through coaching, was that when she showed me the things she loved it was her attempt to connect and engage with me. I gradually stopped judging and started showing interest and appreciation in the things she showed me and discovered that she didn’t actually want me to buy her all of the stuff, she just wanted that connection. I don’t bristle up now when she’s showing me some gorgeous item or a cute puppy, I look and appreciate what it is about the thing that appeals to her, and as a result, our relationship is better than it’s ever been. I have more compassion for her and am more appreciative of her natural style and ability to make things more beautiful. No wonder she in turn is more relaxed in my presence. We have started talking more, it’s become easier between us.
No matter how successful and competent a parent you are, taking some time for parent coaching to get some new thinking, new perspectives, and new ideas on how you relate to your children has the potential to shift things dramatically for the better in your relationships with them, even if you are already starting from a good place.
I know from my own experience how valuable coaching can be and so I hope if someone has suggested that you think about having some parent coaching you can see it as a gift rather than taking it as a criticism of your parenting.
I know that parenting is not always plain sailing and that opportunities to take time out, be listened to and challenged in order to gain new perspectives and ideas on how to parent well are few and far between. Especially so in lockdown when we are cut off from our support networks whilst juggling schooling and work.
Having seen the power of coaching in my own parenting I have teamed up with fellow coach Katie Friedman and we are now offering one to one parent coaching and also an online group coaching programme for parents of autistic children through Gold Mind Coaching.
The author David Mitchell said that parenting an autistic child was like normal parenting on steroids x 20. We think he is right. If you are parenting an autistic child, we would love to work with you through our group coaching programme. Whether you think you have parenting pretty much sorted or you feel like you are only just keeping your head above the water we believe you will get great value from our course.
On our course you will not be told how to parent or what to do. You will however be led through a series of thought-provoking exercises which enable you to think about how you want your children to experience you and what your children need from you. You will have those light bulb moments that lead to small tweaks that end up transforming family life for the better. We hope you recognise your own value and worth and decide to invest in yourself so that you can become the best parent you can be.
For more information about the parent coaching course click here.
Lynne Tapper is an accredited coach specialising in working with autistic
people. With a background in Speech and Language Therapy she is well
placed to work with employers and teams wishing to enhance their
communication with autistic employees.
She coaches autistic people approaching transition points in their
careers from entry level upwards. Common themes for coaching are
communication, time management, self acceptance and emotional
regulation. She helps autistic people avoid burnout through the discovery
of strategies and sustainable habits. Lynne also advises employers on
low/no cost reasonable adjustments enabling the autistic individual to
contribute optimally to the team.
Current work includes:
Gold Mind Coaching for Neurodiverse families. Lynne provides 1-2-1 and group coaching for
parents of autistic children.
Mental Fitness group coaching for young people
Private coaching for autsitic teenagers and adults
Crafting Conversations – group coaching to help people listen and contribute in conversations
Trainee volunteer vaccinator with St Johns Ambulance
Qualifications and Accreditation
Barefoot Trained coach
PGCert Business and Personal Coaching – Chester University
ACC accreditation and member of The International Coaching Federation
Member of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
I am based in Leeds, West Yorshire, and am currently working virtually.