Complex Connexions

Helping Hands Community Hub is proud to announce our partnership with Complex Connexions.

Complex Connexions is on a mission to enable parents of young people, who experience emotional and behavioural challenges, to understand and communicate with their children in a way that strengthens connection and supports the whole family's wellbeing.

"When you have a child or teen who is struggling with emotions and behaviour,

perhaps finding it difficult to attend or settle at school; perhaps showing their

feelings through big emotions at home; constant difficulties, causing a lot of

disconnection and struggles for the whole family; this can feel extremely

overwhelming as a parent.

You feel isolated, with little support or even judgement, from those around you

and sporadic or ineffective support from professionals. You feel exhausted

trying to advocate for your young person, but knowing that others are judging

them by their behaviour and not seeing the positive qualities that you know

are there. You may feel guilty about the reactions you have to them at times

too; feeling like calm and co-operation in your family are a distant memory.

I know these feelings very well. My son is now diagnosed ADHD and Autistic

but we were referred to different mental health professionals across several

years, before he was referred for assessment and given a diagnosis of ADHD,

and then later Autism.

But even these diagnoses did not help us to understand D and with very little professional support, we felt that he was

labelled with deficits, and nothing that we recognised as his strengths, were

seen by others, particularly at school. It was heart-breaking and caused much

turmoil in our home as we tried our best to understand, communicate effectively and remain connected. I made the decision to do my own research and learn as much as I could about neurodiversity (being a qualified teacher in South Africa and working as

teaching assistant in the UK, you would think I had training in this but no, I had

a lot to learn!)

Many hours of late night googling, webinars, reading, podcasts and training

courses later, I decided to set up Complex Connexions CIC, as I knew that I

wanted to support other parents who were going through similar things to

those that I had experienced. I wanted to pass on what I had discovered and

learnt, that had made such a difference for my family - once I better

understood D and saw beyond his behaviour, once I was able to shift my

perspective on the things he was struggling with, I could change my

communication, respond with compassion and clarity, and this meant that he

and I were able to rebuild our connection. This meant my husband and others

did the same and this truly transformed our family.

Complex Connexions offers workshops for parents, where I teach my course,

Parenting with Connexions, to explore understanding our child as an individual,

to see their strengths as well as recognise their difficulties, to see beyond their

behaviour to what they really need and to develop communication to empower

them and to enable collaboration and co-operation within the family.

I want parents to know that they can make such a difference for their young person

and for their whole family, when they are able to embrace these principles.

Connection is no magic wand - we are certainly still learning and as D has

grown up and his challenges have evolved, as the demands at school and of

life have changed, we have had to keep working things out as we go - I know

that when I am low on energy myself, I can default to old habits - but the lens

of connection has enabled us to mostly retain the new patterns of

communication and to have the confidence and trust that we can support D in

the most effective way. I believe this is possible because we now focus first

on the relationships in our family.

I know that D’s mental wellbeing as well as mine, and the rest of our family,

has been positively impacted. I want to pass this knowledge on to other

families, to enable them to explore these concepts, to give them a space to

meet and communicate with other parents with a similar family experience and

to support them with a way to learn, and discuss and reflect, so that they can

take away what will be useful for them and their family.

I aim to enable these parents to feel empowered, to have clarity and confidence to parent their child or teen in the way that works best in their family, to support them most effectively and to advocate for them at school and elsewhere. I want them to be able to give their young person a feeling of

acceptance and belonging, which, in turn, will empower them with resilience

and enable them to advocate for themselves going forward."

Helping Hands Community Hub and Complex Connexions will be running various FREE workshops for parents and carers in Sheffield very soon! Icluding:

To learn more about Complex Connections click here:

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