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Episode summary:

In this episode, Susan talks with Elaine Halligan about her personal journey of raising a neuro-atypical child. Elaine talks about maintaining a strong and loving relationship with your child, even through the challenges of identifying what might be fueling chronic misbehavior.

Elaine Halligan is a director at The Parent Practice and has been a parenting specialist since 2006, helping parents raise competent and confident children through parenting classes, private coaching and keynote speaking in schools and corporate settings both in the UK and overseas. She is frequently quoted in the broadsheet press and regularly appears on Sky News, BBC world news and BBC local radio. Her mission is to help parents find the holy grail of parenting: keeping calm and bringing out the best in their children.

Things you'll learn from this episode:


The importance of looking at what a child needs, rather than focusing on labels and blame

Understanding temperament in making sense of a child’s behavior

The happy ending to a story of a child with significant learning challenges

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1: (00:08)
Hello there and welcome back to the Parenting Without Power Struggles podcast. I'm so glad you're here. This podcast series is about helping you have more fun, more joy and fewer power struggles while you're raising your kids. I'm your host, Susan Stiffelman. I'm the author of Parenting Without Power Struggles and Parenting With Presence. And it's so wonderful to share some of the things I've learned in my 40 something years, that I've been a teacher, a marriage and family therapist, and educator, and a mom. We cover everything under the sun here when it comes to parenting. So take a look at all the other wonderful episodes that we have in our library. Before we get started, though, please make sure that you're taking advantage of everything that we offer for parents. By visiting We have have a monthly Parenting Without Power Struggles membership program. For those of you who want my ongoing personal help, we've got a Co-Parenting With A Narcissist support group for those who need that kind of support.

Speaker 1: (01:14)
And there's over 30 deep dive, 90 minute master classes on everything, including classes on the Gifts of ADHD with Dr. Ned Hallowell, the Resilient Brain with Dr. Dan Siegel, Helping Siblings Get Along with Dr. Laura Markham and many, many more. So check that out. We also have a very special class coming up on March 18th, called Celebrating Every Voice. I'm partnering with Thorald and Isaac Koren also known as the Brothers Koren. They're extraordinary musicians. They're fathers of young children. They've performed to over a million people while touring with Coldplay, Pink, Rod Stewart and Bon Jovi, and now they teach the transformative effective music on human wellbeing. They are very special work in our class together. We're gonna help your children feel empowered to strengthen their unique voice while helping us grownups claim our own voices as well with more confidence and joy. And in the second half of our class, this is super cool.

Speaker 1: (02:19)
We're gonna actually be writing an original song together. So whether you and your kids are musically inclined, or you can't even carry a tune, it's gonna be a great way to kind of unburden ourselves of life's worries and stress, which we know we are all caring as we come together in song, one of the most primal ways to lighten our hearts and experience joy connection. You can find out more at Now, in today's episode of this series, I'm gonna be talking with Elaine Halligan from the UK's Parent Practice about the journey she traveled to get to the root of what was creating so many challenges for her son who was thrown out of three schools. By the time he was seven because of behavioral and learning issues. He's now a thriving adult capitalizing on his unique talents and gifts. So have a listen and we'll come back for the wrap up. Hi, Elaine. I'm really, really looking forward to our conversation after such a long wait.

Speaker 2: (03:20)
It has been a long time because I just checked my diary, Susan, and it was two years ago almost to this day that we were planning your trip to London. Can you believe it? Oh,

Speaker 1: (03:30)
Yep. Yeah, not yet, but hopefully that, that is gonna happen. And you were so kind and gracious to consider helping me put something together for the parents in your wonderful community. So let me tell people a little bit about you. And then we will dive into the very interesting topics that I wanna cover today based on not only your expertise, but your personal experience as a parenting specialist and director of the parent practice with are 10 years of experience. Elaine Halligan helps parents raise competent and competent children through parenting classes, private coaching, and keynote speaking in schools, she faced the challenge of parenting. Her son, who had undiagnosed learning difficulties and at age seven had been excluded from three schools, however, through the use of positive parenting skills and a lot of other things I know her son thrived and is now an Intrepid entrepreneur with resilience, grit, and an ability to bounce back in the face of adversity.

Speaker 1: (04:30)
Her mission is to impart her knowledge to other parents, to ensure that their different or difficult children survive and thrive in their educational years and beyond and author of the wonderful book. My child's different. If you could we'll hold that up in a minute, an inspiring success story that will offer hope to any parent and enables parents to unlock the potential in their child and their strengths. So I read your book when it first came out and I was so struck by just the dedication into emotion, but the honesty as well. So that's kind of where I wanna go today is to talk about the actual path of what you went through with your son and kind of how you came through that in, in more than one piece.

Speaker 2: (05:16)
That's a great place to start because I think that story just says everything about why I, I do the work I do today. And I think I have to start right back at the beginning, Susan. And just say, when I became a parent for the first time, I could have never imagined it would be just such an exhausting experience. I didn't find it easy

Speaker 2: (05:36)
And I didn't find it easy because I didn't understand our little boy. And I found it exhausting, definitely bewildering complex puzzling. And I think over the years, I just started not to recognize myself. I've always been quite calm, quite relaxed, and I just got on with things. But when Sam came along, I just find my world was turned upside down. And I think it started very early. And if, I think back to those days in the nursery school had always been met by the nursery teacher with kind of a report card. I was thinking, how can my son have a report card? He's only three. I would be met and I'd be told Mrs. Halligan, we've not had a good day. It was always the Royal we, and you know, Sam can't sit in circle time. He's constantly interrupting. He's not listening. He can't share he's pushing other children. And it was just, it just went on and on and on. And I felt very early on as that parent who had a difficult child. And I would say to people, there's, there's something not I'm understanding here about Sam's behavior and, and Susan all the time. They would say to me, oh, don't worry about it. You're worrying about nothing. Or he's just a boy he'll grow out of it.

Speaker 2: (06:58)
Well, my son was just like that too. They'd say. And yeah, it'll be fine when he went to big school and of course it wasn't fine. And so my experience of parenting in the early days was quite lonely. I didn't know where to look for support. I felt people weren't listening to me. And the story very quickly at is that, you know, when Sam started big school, he got asked to leave that big school very quickly. And we found ourselves at the age of when Sam was seven with a little boy, who'd been excluded from three schools in so many years.

Speaker 1: (07:33)
My gosh.

Speaker 2: (07:34)
And we were literally just in crisis as a family. And I'll never forget that moment. And I was just reflecting on it recently, as my husband actually took a sabbatical from work for six months because we couldn't cope. We couldn't cope. We had a child who could not be educated and yet deep down, just deep down, I sensed that our little boy was like like a rock covered in mud. And I just thought if I could wipe away the mud, I just sensed that we were gonna find something extraordinary underneath. Mm. And sure enough, we did find the diamond, but it took a long, long time

Speaker 1: (08:18)
To set of curiosity. Cuz I know that there are parents listening to this thinking, oh my gosh, I, I can so relate to this story. In some version of it was Sam having the same kind of challenges at home or primarily outside of the home?

Speaker 2: (08:33)
Gosh, that's a really good question. The, the challenges were, I would say indiscriminate, but I think home life got a little when we started to look at him differently. Okay. And the mentor I used was that my son wasn't being a problem. He was having a problem.

Speaker 1: (08:51)

Speaker 2: (08:52)
And I just knew that all the labels that were thrown at him naughty, stupid, silly, bad. I just sensed, they weren't correct labels. And that people just weren't understanding his behavior. And I knew there was a reason for the behavior, but I didn't know what that was. Yeah. you know, taking that the Buddhist monk,

Speaker 1: (09:12)
Of course.

Speaker 2: (09:13)
Yeah. He's got this wonderful saying and forgive me if I get it wrong, but it's, it's about the letters. Don't blame the letters. And he says, if the letters doesn't grow, you don't blame the lettuce. You don't shout to the lettuce. You don't say what a naughty lettuce. You look at the environment in which it's in and you say, what does the lettuce need? Does it need more further? Does it need more sun? Does it need more water? Does it need a different irrigation system, but you don't blame the lettuce. Mm. And so I think that's just a lovely analogy that, you know, once I understood that there was a reason for the behavior, the behavior at home improved that things did didn't improve at school.

Speaker 1: (09:57)
Right? Cause

Speaker 2: (09:58)
I think the teaching staff just didn't understand him, but they definitely wanted to stick a round peg and a round hole. And if you're a square peg and you don't learn and you're atypical learner, or you've got some neurodiversity, which was what was going on for Sam, it's very hard in a, in a means dream school for, for the teacher to kind of manage those children who think and learn differently.

Speaker 1: (10:23)
Wow. Cause

Speaker 2: (10:24)
What I took, it took me years to work out that actually Sam had a heightened sense. He, he was an anxious, he was going into school every day in a heightened state of anxiety. And he didn't understand that as a parent, but every day at school, I guess it was akin to being taught Japanese or Chinese and not being able to understand it. And so every day at school was kind of heightening that anxiety, the self-esteem was lowering and he was literally pathologically doing anything to avoid a stressful situation and learning was stressful.

Speaker 1: (11:01)
Oh my gosh. So powerful. You know, I always ask parents to pose this question when they don't understand something going on with their child. And the question is such a simple one, but so, so powerful. Why does this behavior make sense? And if we start with this presumption that lettuce just wants to grow, like lettuce has no agenda. Like I'm gonna be the seed that just doesn't sprout. I'm gonna just sort of arbitrarily know that that human beings want to do well. Children want to behave well when they have the ability and the resources and they're regulated inside. And so her child is learning, is learning style, you know, has a different learning style or is struggling with how they process information differently than the way that it's being taught in a classroom. Then their behavior makes sense. But we have to just sort of line up.

Speaker 1: (11:53)
There's a game here. I don't know if you have it in the UK, huge fan of the game. My son actually tried out to be on it. We all have watched it over the many years called jeopardy. Yes. And the game jeopardy with the wonderful Alex Streck who passed away recently, they give you the answer and you have to come up with the question and in a way, behavior is a lot like, like here's what the answer is. Here's what we're seeing. Here's the manifestation. Now let's reverse the camera and say, why is that the inevitable conclusion? What has to be going on? So what was going on with Sam,

Speaker 2: (12:27)
Such a lovely analogy there, cause you have to be a behavior detective don't you? Yes,

Speaker 1: (12:32)
You do.

Speaker 2: (12:33)
You have to be curious. And I'm always saying to parents, you know, if there is anything different going on in behavior or even if there's a disconnect between IQ and what they're achieving in class, just be curious and what was going on for Sam? Oh my goodness. Well, very quickly he became the alphabet kid and we went down a called the child adolescent to mental health service. I know many of your listeners will be based across the pond. And here in the UK, we have a health service called cams and that's a child adolescent to mental health service, psychiatrists, psychologists sensory processing people, a whole Ramit, a team of medical professionals. And, and I, I think that's when the nonsense started because he got label after label after label. And literally if I throw out these TLAs three letter abbreviations it started with ASC, autistic spectrum condition. At that time, I think

Speaker 1: (13:32)
We call it ASD autistic disorder. Okay.

Speaker 2: (13:37)
I, I think condition is just meant to soften it because actually it's not a disorder. Exactly.

Speaker 1: (13:42)
No, I tell her that

Speaker 2: (13:43)
A lot about that. Doesn't he? Yes. Yes. And then we got ADHD attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Then I was told he had Sid sensory dysfunction add in a, about a bit of what I think they called pragmatic semantic language difficulty, so processing language, et cetera. And then finally, when I got a diagnosis of PDA, do you have PDA in America? It's actually pathological demand of avoidance. So it's a subset of autistic spectrum

Speaker 1: (14:16)
Condition. I wonder if it's similar to oppositional defiant, we have that O D D

Speaker 2: (14:21)
It it's, it presents very similar, but it's not because PDA is a subset of autism.

Speaker 1: (14:28)

Speaker 2: (14:29)
And actually after about the seventh label, I just said enough enough, all I need to know. I don't need to know the labels. I really don't. All we need to understand is that we've got a child who thinks and learns differently. That's all you need to know. I did also know or recognize that I had a child with a certain temperament. So, so whilst we're trying to get to his educational needs. Yeah. What was really interesting Susan is I started to realize that he had a temperament that was very intense emotionally. So that dysregulation that you spoke about a while ago. Yeah. Very sensitive. So beneath this kind of exterior of not caring, a lot of false bravado Was the most enormous sensitivity. And at that point I just knew that the autistic spectrum kind of label wasn't right, because Sam had huge empathy. He could recognize and respond to other people's feelings more than I could. And finally, I realized that in addition to the sensitivity and intenseness of emotions, he was impulsive. So we didn't have a pause button. And if you put all those three temperaments together, Ooh, that is, that's quite a magic formula for a child. Who's very challenging to parent. Yeah.

Speaker 2: (15:49)
But actually at the end of the day, it didn't matter about the labels. And, and what actually occurred was that we realized Sam was severely dyslexic and ADHD and the rest of it, it was just a model, a real model, a melting pot of just Different labels and diagnostic things that it, it actually didn't help at the end of the day, all he was, he needed his curriculum to be differentiated because he could not read or write. And I remember when I wrote the book, Susan and I kind of got all the ed psych reports done out outta the file. And I just thought, you know, what were we talking about here? And I remember at 15, his educational psychology report said that for literacy, he was in the one percentile.

Speaker 1: (16:35)
Ah, wow.

Speaker 2: (16:36)
So you couldn't read or write, but his IQ was phenomenal.

Speaker 1: (16:41)

Speaker 2: (16:42)
So here's the thing, you know, not all of us have, we can have high intelligence levels, but not all of us can learn in the traditional way.

Speaker 1: (16:50)
Exactly. So

Speaker 2: (16:51)
Once you understand that and you can get your child into the right school, that that's the other bit of the formula and surround them with people who understand you are diversity who understand atypical learners, then the magic can happen. Right. So I always say, it's a bit like a jigsaw puzzle. You need to understand temperament. You need to understand social educational needs and you fill up your parenting toolkit to prevent you doing all the stuff that I was doing, which was nagging, repeating, reminding cajoling.

Speaker 1: (17:24)
Oh my gosh, how exhausting

Speaker 2: (17:25)
I was bribing, I was threatening. I was doing everything that just wasn't working. Yeah.

Speaker 1: (17:31)
You know, it's, it's a really big story. It, it, there there's so many angles that we could pursue, but the one that just jumps out at me because sort of how I roll is how did you stay on your feet? You know, because you ended up, I think finding a, an appropriate school, not every parent will have that option that certainly here. And certainly unless you have a lot of money and even if you do resources are, are often limited. So I wanna understand, and maybe you could share her a few minutes, how you managed your own state of overwhelm, discouragement, anger, frustration, resentment shutdown. Because one of the things that's fundamental to my work is this idea of being the call captain of the ship for our children. And more and more, I'm talking about that in terms of staying regulated, because then we can, co-regulate our, a child who eventually will become more self regulatory, but it starts with us. How did you stay? Keep your head above water through all of this?

Speaker 2: (18:40)
I think I have to confess. So I was probably quite lucky to be surrounded by a really good husband, a good man. And I don't think I would've survived. Had he not taken that six months sabbatical. Wow. Because I have to be honest, I was sinking. Absolutely sinking. Yeah. So when Tony took some time, my wonderful Kiwi husband, 30 years, when he took some time off strangely, we became more of a United front. And I kicked in with what I can only describe as a hyper focus. I don't want to say I was a tiger mom, but I was just hyper focused. Yeah. To get some solution.

Speaker 1: (19:21)
Well, let's, let's tell the story then that, cuz I know you have the parent practice and you have thousands of families who come to you for support. Now, how would you counsel one of those parents who was a single a mother with three children facing this kind of journey with a child.

Speaker 2: (19:39)
Yeah. Cause I appreciate not all of us are fortunate to be supported by a partner. I absolutely get that. And I hope that didn't come over the wrong

Speaker 1: (19:46)
Way. No, I, I think you're honest and you know, and you know, there are other parents too who have support. Yeah. But I wanna make sure that we of a wide net here for today's conversation and really acknowledge that some parents face this on their own without support with multiple children, maybe, you know, more than one child with some challenges. So I'd love to just share a few words of support and encouragement for those parents cuz you have certainly rolled around in that state of overwhelm. Even if you had a great husband, it's still your, your child and you're still getting the phone calls.

Speaker 2: (20:23)
So that was just one aspect of it just, you know, having support from my immediate family. But the second aspect that was really key was just putting my hand up and saying I needed help. Ah, cool. I wasn't embarrassed to admit that was failing as a parent or I certainly felt I was failing as a parent and I wasn't embarrassed to admit that I was getting a lot wrong and I put my hand up and sought help. And that's when I met my wonderful former business partner, Melissa, who owned the parent practice and she became our huge, so I remember booking in to do her 10 week positive parenting course and it was so transformational. I did it again for the second time. And the second time I heard everything D and it was so transformational, I did it again for the third time. And I just became almost evangelical about these skills that I was learning.

Speaker 2: (21:16)
And they were positive parenting skills, what you and I have been doing for years. But I, I didn't realize what these skills were. They were transformational literally within weeks, some months we were seeing a young man who, who, who had picked himself off the floor because after those three school expulsions, his self-esteem was rock bottom. So by just filling up my parenting toolkit and not being frightened to ask for support and being very honest and open. And I think you said that right at the start I wear my heart, my sleep, you know, anyone who knows me knows me. I'll, I'll share I'll overshare, probably Susan, I'm a therapist and I'm not a counselor. I'm just a mom who, who, who's a parenting coach now I probably do overshare. But I think that honesty allowed me to for filled the toolkit up with positive skills, admit I needed help. So I think to anyone listening to this podcast or interview just don't be frightened to talk to ask for help. And there is help out there and from all sorts of wonderful organizations, mm They're there, you just have to find them

Speaker 1: (22:28)
Name your name in,

Speaker 2: (22:30)
And on that note, Susan, I would like to say I have a burry scheme in my business where I offer 75% off all my products for anyone who's really struggling,

Speaker 1: (22:41)

Speaker 2: (22:42)
Access help.

Speaker 1: (22:42)

Speaker 2: (22:43)
That to me was just critical. And interestingly, I'll always get someone to donate a little bit to it because people value it just that little bit.

Speaker 1: (22:51)
Oh well, you know, thank you. And, and I I believe that as we kind of hold hands through this work, the, those of us who are hoping to offer some support and teachings and the parents who listen that we are collectively, you know, the raising the consciousness of all children and all parents. So this is why collaborating is such a joy and hearing your story is so wonderful. I wanna just before we have to wrap up, I wanna just kind of explore the other side, cuz I know that your son is now an adult, but talk you know, how to, how you were able to hold onto a strong and loving relationship with him versus weakening that relationship. As you began to take the first tentative steps toward getting some clarification on what your son needed. And maybe you could also share what the solution or the school solution was for him as well. So in case somebody has access to that,

Speaker 2: (23:55)
That's a really big question. Two parts to that question. How was I to able to hold the space for him? I just sensed that he was a doc and that he needed an adult in his life. It could have been mom, it could have been dad. It could be somebody else. It could be a teacher, but someone who just believed in him. So that was point number one and point number two is just building up starting right from the bottom connection before correction

Speaker 2: (24:22)
Tempting to keep correcting the behavior we like to see. So we started right at the bottom, kind of like the foundation of a house. So I often say to my clients who come to me and they want to do all the misbehavior and I go, whoa, the misbehavior is the roof of the house. We've, we've got to start from the foundation. So we built up his self esteem and he started to recognize his strengths. When he felt good about himself, he could then acknowledge the weaknesses and the weaknesses were profound. He never sat and examined. His life, had a reader and a scribe. We started to help him deal with his feelings of frustration and anger and anxiety and sadness at times. And by helping him be more emotionally intelligent, he would talk to us. And of course talking's good, but that's, that's pretty problem solve when you release that prefrontal, you know, space for that prefrontal cortex to work.

Speaker 2: (25:18)
And I would say the third thing we did, which we gave him chore to do. So one of the easiest things all parents can do is give their child responsibility within the home because competence breeds confidence. And so we put Sam in charge of washing the cars sweeping the lead, doing a bit of gardening. And, and from that competence, you build confidence. And so when he finished school, even though he couldn't read or write, he was learning all sorts of different ways of accessing the curriculum via voice recognition programs, by listening to YouTube videos, there's so many exciting ways to learn these days. Isn't they, you don't have to necessarily be a traditional learner. And my scattered mind is now saying to my else, have I answered your question? Cause I can't remember

Speaker 1: (26:11)
Question. Well, it was sort of a multidimensional question. So yes you have. And you know, what I love about it is this feeling that underneath this, this sort of the chaos of some of your days, there was just love. There was love and acceptance for your son. And I know that when we just see our children as flawed or the problem to be solved, that there is a lot of pulling away and pulling back on their part. But when they feel that we are in it with them, you know that we are yes, we may wanna try and make things better. And yeah, we may get really mad and irritated and frustrated and screaming out. But that underneath is this bedrock of I'm I'm on your team. I love you. We will find our way through this. And that's again, this captain of the idea that I teach. Yeah. We might be in a storm and there might be icebergs all around and we may not even be able to see all of 'em, but I got this somehow I've got this. And, and I think, you know, if you wanted to share a little bit about how you came out the other side and a little bit about Sam's life after he finished the traditional school, I'd love to hear that.

Speaker 2: (27:24)
And just before I answer that question, it's just lovely to pick up on, on this idea that we don't give up on our children.

Speaker 1: (27:31)

Speaker 2: (27:32)
Most parents don't give up on their children. Yeah, that's right. And we may have to accept the child we've got and not the child we may want them to be. And in my book, I dunno whether you are in, remember the Pearl Kingsley kind of poem in my quote about being in Holland as opposed to room.

Speaker 1: (27:50)
Oh, love it.

Speaker 2: (27:52)
Yeah. Do you remember

Speaker 1: (27:53)
That? Can I share that a little bit?

Speaker 2: (27:55)
Sure. So, you know, when you prepare for having a, a child, maybe the, you know, first time you're starting a family, it it's so exciting. And it's almost as if you are going on a holiday to Italy to Rome. And we all want to go to Rome because it's just such a glamorous place. It's got wine, it's got great food. It's got Michael Angelo. Oh my God, it's so exciting. And you're sharing your journey with everyone. And it's like boarding an airplane. And once you get on the airplane and it comes into land, the air Stu there says welcome them to Holland. And you're gonna say, what, what, I'm not meant to be in Holland. I'm gonna Rome, Italy. That's where everyone's going. That's where I'm told that's where I'm meant to be. And, and suddenly you realize you haven't landed in Italy. You've landed in Holland and Holland's not a bad place.

Speaker 2: (28:42)
It's not a place full of far or disease or PE it's just a different place. But sometimes the sadness of never actually having got to Rome, maybe never, ever go until you really start to see what Holland has to offer be. And Holland has the chew ups and it has the Rembrandt and it has so many wonderful things, but it wasn't what our expectations were. And so part of parenting and you're a diverse child is, is about having realistic expectations based on the child you've got and not the child you may want them to be. And I think that can take a long time for parents to really come to terms with, and to accept the young man we have today. Oh my goodness. I I listened to a podcast interview last year that he did Susan during COVID and actually he left school, went into the workplace and it was quite an interesting time that he went into events management, work around the clock, really hard, met with an entrepreneur there who kind of became his little angel. And I, I think after about 10 months, he just thought, no, this is what I wanna do. I wanna be the entrepreneur. I wanna be the person running the business. And the story is he took the money he earned. And I think it was about 6,000 pounds. And he and his friend got in their car. They rented a trailer and guess where they drove to actually the irony of this doesn't escape me now. They drove to Italy and, and, and with it, they came back with two fear, chins,

Speaker 2: (30:26)
And this was age 17. And this was where, oh, 17, 18 just after Sam, I left school. And he came back with these two FIS sold them pretty quickly. And he just thought, this is what I wanna do because he's always had a love of cars, he's with cars. And so he started a car business. Then he got more confidence and he thought I'm gonna go to university. And I remember thinking Sam, I, I, I just don't know whether that's for you. I mean, studying you'll have to take in exams. What, what are you thinking of? Anyway, took himself off to university and did a property degree. Never set an exam, never wrote an exam, I should say, but had a reader and a scribe. And he learns auditorially so he would lecture, but there's not one written note.

Speaker 1: (31:12)

Speaker 2: (31:14)
And, and what was extraordinary was he finished his, his, his kind of university education and he was quite cross. And he said, you know what? I was only a few offer first. I wish I'd worked harder.

Speaker 1: (31:26)

Speaker 2: (31:26)
We were all saying, it's amazing. He's got a university degree. And during the time at university, that entrepreneurship didn't go away. So he got other people to fund his business and Classic car business. And when you've got, gosh,

Speaker 1: (31:42)
It's just

Speaker 2: (31:43)
Driving and you story. He advises me on VT.

Speaker 1: (31:49)
God, what a crazy,

Speaker 2: (31:50)
He's a born entrepreneur. I dunno, from one week to the next, what country he's in. He travels the globe. He's got a workshop in Lithuania.

Speaker 1: (31:58)

Speaker 2: (31:59)
God. He ships to America. Lots of his clients are in America because he HES in range rovers and, and land RS. And he's in his zone of genius.

Speaker 1: (32:10)

Speaker 2: (32:12)
He's happy.

Speaker 1: (32:13)
What a story. Wow. Elaine, thank you so much for spending time with me, with us and sharing all of this. What an inspiration, what a, yeah, just the, on the sea and the, the purity of heart. You know, I think that we can all take, take hope, have some hope, you know, that even when it looks a little bleak today that they're with certain, you know, taking the right steps or the important steps, the necessary steps can lead us to a wonderful outcome for us and for our children. So please tell people how they can find out more about you and get in touch if they would like,

Speaker 2: (32:51)
Again, I just wanna pick up on something you said about hope.

Speaker 2: (32:55)
Cause I've written this book. My child's different. It's through years old now I think. And it's an extraordinary book I think because it's got my son's voice in it. So I spent the best part of a year interviewing Sam and asking him to recollect his experiences. Yeah,

Speaker 1: (33:12)
It's amazing.

Speaker 2: (33:13)
And actually it was so traumatic for him. We had to stop the interviewing because we all had to process some of those moments that, oh wow. We'd actually put to the back of our minds when he was locked in a cupboard.

Speaker 1: (33:28)
Oh my

Speaker 2: (33:28)
God. When he, when he was restrained such an extent, he would have a bleeding nose and there would be blood everywhere. And, and he found it so traumatic. We had to stop. And at one point I had to say, Sam, we don't have to do this where we do not have to write this book. And he said, no, I think it's a really important story. And I want my voice to be in there.

Speaker 1: (33:47)
Oh my gosh.

Speaker 2: (33:48)
I would say this book, everybody who reads it says that it gives hope and optimism. And that's what I wish for the audience who may be listening to this interview,

Speaker 2: (33:59)
No matter how desperate, how adverse conditions may be. I kind of want to say to you, there's always hope in the face of adversity. So my business now, what am I doing? It's called the parent practice. I've spent a lot of time during COVID creating online courses, just like you Susan, so that people can us this work all over the globe. And yeah, I offer online courses monthly webinars. I offer my harmony at home course, which is similar to your online course, a six week program. And it's really interesting. I don't think it matters how many parenting experts you listen to. You'll always pick up something different, even though our methodologies are all remarked a are positive firm and consistent and, and, you know, parenting with love, with empathy, with compassion, but also with boundaries is really important. I think we're all delivering the same thing, but actually clients hear it from different people. Exactly.

Speaker 1: (35:04)
I've seen that too. And you've been so kind also even to share our courses with your community. So yes, here we are just wanting to raise the, the lives, the, the joy level, the laughter level, the love level. And thank you so, so much for the work that you do again, the web, would you share that?

Speaker 2: (35:25)
Woo woo. Www.Theparentpractice.Com.

Speaker 1: (35:29)
Awesome. Okay. Thank you again, Elaine Halligan I hope that your work continues to reach people all over with inspiration and support

Speaker 2: (35:40)
And, and to you too, Susan, thanks for inviting me.

Speaker 1: (35:45)
I hope you enjoyed that conversation. I found it so inspiring to hear how Elaine and her family persevered to get to the root of what was making life so hard for her son and how he is now living a life that's so joyful and fulfilling, very promising and optimistic and hopeful message. If you're finding these podcasts helpful, please take a moment to leave a rating or even a review it's really, really helps us get the word out. We've reached hundreds of thousands of parents with the series and largely because so many of you are shared and cheering us on. So thank you. You can also hit the subscribe button and that way you'll be notified. As soon as we release a new episode, remember to stay in touch and get your regular doses of parenting inspiration at You can sign up for our free newsletter and see all the different kinds of support that I offer to our community. And you can find out more about Celebrating Every Voice, the really fun family friendly class I'll be doing with the Brothers Koren on March 18th. And of course the replay is always available. Okay. Take a breath hand on heart giving. Thanks for just showing up. That's it for today, everyone. And remember, no matter how busy life gets, look for those moments of sweetness and joy, stay safe and stay well. And I'll see you next time.