A guide for parents with children who have SEND

Parenting is a journey filled with unique challenges and rewarding moments. For parents of children with additional needs, this journey often comes with extra hurdles and complexities. As a PSHE teacher and a qualified life and career coach, I understand the importance of equipping children with the skills they need to navigate life's various challenges. This article aims to highlight some of the difficulties children with special needs face and offer practical skills and topics to focus on, which can significantly benefit their development and overall well-being.


Understanding the challenges

Children with special needs often face a range of difficulties, including but not limited to:

  • Communication barriers - Difficulty in expressing themselves and understanding others.
  • Social integration - Struggles with making and maintaining friendships.
  • Academic challenges - Learning disabilities that affect their performance in school.
  • Sensory processing issues - Over or under-reactivity to sensory stimuli.
  • Emotional regulation - Difficulty managing emotions and behaviours.
  • Physical disabilities - Mobility issues that can limit participation in various activities.

These challenges can impact their confidence, social interactions, and academic success. However, with the right support and guidance, children can learn to overcome these obstacles and thrive.

Essential skills and topics to focus on

Social skills

This enhances their ability to interact positively with peers and adults, fostering better relationships.

Focus on: Role-playing social scenarios, practising greetings, understanding body language, and developing conversation skills.

Emotional regulation

This helps them manage their emotions, leading to fewer behavioural issues and better mental health.

Focus on: Teaching techniques like deep breathing, using emotion charts, and practising mindfulness.

Friendship building

Helping to develop meaningful relationships and a support network.

Focus on: Identifying qualities of a good friend, practising sharing and turn-taking, and engaging in group activities.

Safety awareness

This ensures their well-being in various environments.

Focus on: Recognising safe versus unsafe situations, understanding personal boundaries, and knowing emergency procedures. Online safety, grooming, and county lines are all issues that need careful consideration.

Financial literacy

This prepares them for independence and responsible money management.

Focus on: Basic concepts of money, budgeting, saving, and understanding transactions.

Career exploration

This helps them envision and plan for their future.

Focus on: Identifying interests and strengths, exploring various careers, and understanding workplace skills.

Healthy relationships

This promotes respectful and fulfilling interactions with others.

Focus on: Understanding different types of relationships, recognising healthy versus unhealthy behaviours, and developing communication skills.

Mental health awareness

This supports their overall well-being and helps prevent mental health issues.

Focus on: Identifying emotions, understanding mental health basics, and knowing where to seek help.

Decision making

This encourages independence and critical thinking.

Focus on: Weighing pros and cons, understanding consequences, and practising making choices in safe environments.

Online safety

This protects them in the digital world.

Focus on: Understanding privacy settings, recognising cyberbullying, and knowing how to report inappropriate content.

Time management

This helps them balance responsibilities and leisure.

Focus on: Creating schedules, prioritising tasks, and using timers or alarms.

Conflict resolution

This reduces stress and improves relationships.

Focus on: Teaching negotiation skills, practising active listening, and finding win-win solutions.

Physical health and well-being

This helps to ensure they stay healthy and active.

Focus on: Encouraging regular exercise, understanding nutrition, and promoting good hygiene practices.

Why hire a career and life coach for your child?

Parenting a child with special needs comes with unique challenges and rewards. As a parent, you are deeply invested in your child's development and well-being. However, managing their educational, social, and emotional needs can be overwhelming. This is where a career and life coach can make a significant difference.

As a coach, and parent of a child with special needs myself, I bring specialised knowledge and strategies tailored to your child's individual needs, helping them develop crucial life skills and build confidence. By working with me, you can ensure that your child receives personalised support and guidance that can empower them to achieve their full potential.

I offer structured and supportive online/remote sessions for your child to explore their interests, develop essential skills, and set achievable goals. With expertise in areas such as social skills, emotional regulation, and career planning, I can provide targeted interventions that address your child's specific challenges and strengths. This holistic approach not only enhances your child's ability to succeed in school and future employment but also improves their overall personal growth and independence.

My coaching sessions are flexible and adaptable and are designed to bridge any gaps that exist. Sessions are fully remote, last 60 minutes, and I'm very flexible about when the sessions take place.

Advantages for your child

  • Personalised support - Tailored strategies to specifically address your child's unique challenges and strengths.
  • Skill development - Focus on essential skills like communication, social interaction, and emotional regulation.
  • Confidence building - Activities and exercises designed to boost self-esteem and resilience.
  • Goal setting - Guidance in setting realistic and achievable goals for personal and professional growth.
  • Independence - Tools and techniques to foster self-advocacy and independent decision-making.

By focusing on these essential skills, your child will develop the tools they need to succeed and thrive in various aspects of life. It's about empowering them to become confident, capable, and resilient individuals who can be happy and live as independently as possible. Coaching is life-changing!

Investing in a career and life coach for your child can pave the way for a brighter and more independent future. Take the first step towards empowering your child by booking a free 30-minute informal chat with me. Let's discuss how we can work together to support your child's journey to success.

If you book a free chat with me, you can expect a relaxed, pressure-free conversation. There will be no sales pitch, and I won't push you into signing up unless you're genuinely interested. I'm here to provide a comfortable space where you and your child can ask any questions you have, and I can learn more about your child's needs to determine how I can best support them.

I look forward to partnering with you to unlock your child's potential.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Life Coach Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Bagshot GU19 & Tadworth KT20
Written by Eva Carroll, BA (Hons), EMCC (Accred) | Career and Relationship Coach
Bagshot GU19 & Tadworth KT20

I work with people who are 'stuck' and unhappy with their current life and are ready to take action and make a change. I am also a Teen Career Coach - supporting young people with Life skills.


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