Welcome To SENsational Life
Our mission at SENsational Life is to support and empower neurodiverse families; giving parents of autistic children the tools, strategies and knowledge to provide and secure the support and services needed for an inclusive and happy life.
Welcome to SENsational Life, with me Kelly-Anne Smith! Sounds like a bit of a TV host introduction to my latest game show, doesn’t it. Well, for a lot of years my life was very much like some kind of TV show, although not quite a game show as there was never a wonderful prize waiting for me but more like some kind of soap opera, where there was always drama and disaster, along with the kind of script that had you screaming at the telly….. “Oh come on, like that would really happen!”
The journey to establishing SENsational Life where I now support and empower neurodiverse families by giving parents of autistic children the tools, strategies and knowledge to provide and secure the support and services needed for an inclusive and happy life, was most definitely a long and bumpy one but one I am extremely proud of.
My involvement with the world of SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities) and autism began over 20 years ago when I started working in the learning support unit within one of the local mainstream secondary schools, little did I know how much my growing family and life would be changed and led by neurodiversity.
As my teaching career grew so did my family, but with 4 neurodivergent children, as they grew so did their care needs and ultimately the demands placed upon me as a parent to ensure those needs were met.
Quite simply I could not cope!
Despite reducing my teaching hours the stress, worry and workload became far too much. Feeling like a failure to my profession, my work colleagues, and my family, I didn’t reach out for help and I had a mental breakdown. I was signed off work with depression, placed on medication, and numerous counselling sessions. I did return to teaching but couldn’t get past the lack of support available for families similar to mine so I decided to make some changes!
I knew first hand that parenting children with additional needs and disabilities could be a very isolating, confusing and frustrating experience; one which can be incredibly draining at times for all the family. I knew I had overcome so much to get the support needed, not only for my children but for me too. With my professional and personal experience, I knew I could help other parents avoid feeling the way I did.
In 2015 I left my teaching position and set up what is now ‘SENsational Life’, with a view to reaching out and supporting other parents of autistic children, – as ‘surely I couldn’t be the only one, right?’
I now have over 2000 families accessing my support and advice, which is making a positive impact not only for their autistic children but also for family life as a whole.
I am so pleased that you have found your way here and I would love you to come and join my Autism and Parent Support Group, where I can get to know you a bit better and help support you on your autism parenting journey – at whatever stage you are currently at.
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