Everyone is affected when a child has significant developmental, social or emotional challenges. Whatever the diagnosis–or even if you don’t yet have a diagnosis–if you’re parenting a child with special needs, your entire family feels the impact.
Family coaching addresses the well-being of all of you: parents, siblings and special needs child alike. It’s natural–and necessary–to focus a lot of energy on the child with special needs. But if you neglect yourself, your spouse or your other children, everyone suffers. Family coaches provide tools and strategies to help everyone thrive. Coaching offers an alternative or supplement to traditional therapy, focusing on sustainable daily routines and practical solutions to specific challenges. Coaching is effective in families living with Tourette’s, Asperger’s, au- tism, ADHD/ADD and a range of other conditions.
- Negotiating differences: Parents often disagree about treatment options or how to handle behavior challenges. Family coaches help you identify shared values, understand your differences, and forge a unified team.
- Navigating institutions: Working with teachers, doctors and specialists, or choosing the best school or provider, can be challenging. Coaches walk you through the process, finding strategies that ensure the best outcome for your child.
- Balancing children’s needs: It’s not easy being the sibling of a special needs child. Siblings may feel invisible, resentful, or overly responsible. Coaches help you build routines that meet the needs of all your children.
Taking care of yourself: Coaches help you find ways to nurture yourself and strengthen the relationships that support you, increasing your reserves of energy, power and hope.
The UCLA Family Commons is a family wellness center serving parents and children of all ages, including special needs children. In addition to coaching, classes in martial arts, mindfulness and yoga can lessen anxiety, increase calm, and improve physical, social and emotional well-being. Our meth- odology is grounded in the latest research about parenting and healthy child development. Our family coaches are licensed mental health providers or experienced individuals we train and supervise.