My vision is to build a big, bustling and empowered community of Parents whose children have Special Needs and disabilities and I want you to be a founding member.
When I first had Freddie, I was very alone. Partly because for a long time we had no diagnosis, so no community to belong to and partly because non of our friends who had children had any experience with Special Needs. We were the first!
After a few years, I found SWAN UK, the only organisation to support families of children with no diagnosis and this was the turning point for me. I found other people whose children were undiagnosed or with super rare diagnosis. They were mostly totally different to Freddie but that is what brought us together. We were all unique. As much as the advice and support from other parents was key and I still value it to this day even now Freddie has a diagnosis. I still didn’t know where to go for practical support.
I had to learn from scratch how to Advocate for Freddie and for us as a family. Where do you start? Where do you start when you are emotionally, mentally and physically drained?
I was also edging closer and closer to rock bottom with my mental health and my physical health. I needed ways to help myself and I needed a totally different mindset. It took a long time to turn things around with lots of self learning and support but once I was back up and running with a whole new skill set, I wanted to share these easy to use skills with as many Parents of kiddos with SEND as I possibly could. I started off blogging, which was really nerve wracking to start off with, writing and delivering live workshops and building a vision for the future. The live workshops have been successful and they continue to run in the Warwickshire and West Midlands areas with plans to grow further geographically over the coming years. I know not everyone can physically get to them so with the help, support and technical skills of my good friend and mentor, Clay Lowe, I have produced an on-line version of the first workshop which will be launched in March this year (2019 if you are listening to/reading this is the future). If you want to keep track of the launch and get access to the course, you can sign up to my Mentoring Newsletter by visiting www.aimeemannmentoring.com More on-line learning courses to come over the next year or two.
There is also, of course, the CEO of My Special Needs Family Podcast to help reach more parents and carers just like you around the world and I’m loving producing that each week. The next step is pulling everything and everybody together. I work a lot on Facebook but as much as I love it, I have to admit that so often, the people who need to see my content and opportunities often don’t get to because of the way the Facebook algorithms work. I know if I had a few thousand pounds to spend each quarter on Facebook advertising and a team around me, I could reach more people but I’m also, like you, a Parent Carer. I have three little ones, I’m a full time carer to Freddie and have very limited time so I really wanted to find a better way to bring us all together.
My website is going through an overhaul at them moment so when you visit, it may be changing each time. It’s a bit of a slow process because I’m learning new tech skills all the time and I’m not exactly all that speedy, as Clay will testify to. I’m so grateful he is doing work for me in the background. Without him, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t be ready for launch until probably 2025!
Anyway, the online SEND Community I’m bringing together is for all parent carers regardless of your child’s age or diagnosis and it doesn’t matter where you are in the world, you will be able to be a member. I want it to be a place where you can connect with other parents around topics of interest, share information and gain support from the community members. You will be able to connect and chat with other people, just like you do in Facebook but the difference is, you will and never miss anything that happens. You will also be able to find my blogs and Podcast and all the resources I offer, including the online learning opportunities plus much more as it grows.
I’ll keep you posted on the progress and what’s happening. I hope you will join as a founding member to help grow our Special Needs Social Network to empower us all as strong and successful Advocates for our children, ourselves and our families. This is a community for you and I want to design it around what you want so I would absolutely love it if you would email me and tell me what you want from it. What types of forums would interest you? Things like – ‘Ask The Community’ ‘Local Resources’ ‘Online Resources’ ‘Reading Recommendations’ ‘Home Ed Groups’ ‘A group for Parents whose children are young adults’ The opportunities are endless. What else can’t you find (not just forums) that you would love to have access to? Let me know what you think. Visit the (work in progress) home page at www.aimeemannmentoring.com and sign up to become a member via the button in the top right hand corner. See you in there. xx
What to do next…
The next Become A Velvet Bulldozer live event is being held in Leamington Spa on February 28th. Here is a link to booking your ticket.
In partnership with Entrust Care Partnership, we are taking all three live workshops to Solihull in the West Midlands. You can check out the links and book tickets by following these links. The workshops are £15 each (plus a small online booking fee) but there is an offer available. Book all three direct with me (email to firstname.lastname@example.org) for £40 and save £9.74 on the total online booking cost. Workshop 1. Become A Velvet Bulldozer. Workshop 2. Building Your Emotional Resilience Workshop 3. Mindset – Finding The Courage
If you can’t join me on a live workshop (click here to learn more about, What Is a Live Workshop) you will very soon be able to take part on-line. My on-line learning course – Getting Your Voice Heard, will be launching in March. To stay up to date, drop me a line, like my facebook page and sign up for my Mentoring Newsletter
You can also check out my website www.aimeemannmentoring.com for lots more resources and join my Facebook community of SEN Parents for regular mentoring and support. Search for CEO of My Special Needs Family and request to join. If you prefer to listen to your content, click on the Podcast image below and you can subscribe to make sure you don’t miss the weekly edition. xx