The one thing that I have experienced as a professional is that when working in this field, potential clients will ask about your qualifications and experience. As an autistic individual with ADHD and as a parent of an autistic child with ADHD and Autism with a PDA profile, I know that I have asked the same questions and will continue to do so. If you are reading this with a view to sounding out a few coaches and are wondering if it is something you should ask about, the answer is definitely yes. Any good coach won't be afraid to tell you.
Having initially worked in administration and then retail, in 2006 I changed careers again, working firstly with young children, having gained a qualification in Children's Care Learning and Development. I moved quickly to parental support and found it to be beneficial and something I throughly enjoyed and also learned from, both as a parent and as a practitioner, providing one-to-one support, group facilitation and a listening ear when required. Even though I loved it, I knew that I wanted to do more.
I was a founding member and chairperson of my local branch of the National Autistic Society, creating a setting that was welcoming and had something for everyone in the family, While my motive for this was my own son who was struggling socially, the group also gave me a purpose and helped to reduce the isolation I felt as a parent of a child with complex needs.
I started my life coaching training in 2016 and it has ignited a passion in me that I could not have imagined. I am now a director in a mental health charity which I co-founded and since then have seen clients with many different issues and goals. Because of this I have continued studying, expanding my knowledge to benefit clients. A list of some of these qualifications can be found here.
Working in mental health has taught me that no matter what else I do, the mantra of "do no harm" is paramount. I am currently in the process of changing my professional body and who to currently depends on whether or not I succeed in my application for a course on my next learning journey. I am continually learning, not just for my own benefit but for the benefit of my clients.
It hasn't all been plain sailing but I'm now very aware that some of the difficulties I faced were because of my ADHD and Autism. I know that the one thing that I would have appreciated was the opportunity to get support from someone who understood what I was going through. While it may have not been available to me, I hope that, as a coach, I can be that person for my clients.