Hello Welcome to Issue 3 of Positive Kids Magazine. I hope Spring has started well for you. Spring is a time of new life and growth so I’m really pleased that we’ve got lots of useful content to help you. I’ve certainly learned a lot putting the magazine together particularly around Autism and Relationships of all kinds. I am grateful to the many mums who have shared their personal experiences with us and we have a dad’s perspective too! Please do let me know what you think of this issue and don’t forget to enter the competitions to win some brilliant books too. Until next time. Susan Brookes -Morris (Editor) Twitter: PositiveKidsUK www.positive-kids.co.uk
FOOD FANTASIES OF A BUSY MUM - HOW THE JOURNEY STARTED By Tracey Sokoya http://traycees.com/ Hi. My name is Tracey and it’s great to connect with you in this issue of Positive Kids magazine. Like many of us, I am a busy mum of two lovely children (ages 8 and soon to be 6). I work professionally in the public sector but also run a family owned catering business. Interestingly, many mums I know are in a similar position where they are in paid employment as well as doing the things they love either as a hobby or a side business (whether it dress making, baking, singing or even running a local charitable organisation of some kind). We live in a very busy world and it is difficult at times to juggle all the different aspects of life, whilst maintaining a balance in the home. Keeping the family’s food varied can be challenging and fast food options, packaged food and ready
WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN WIN For a chance to WIN a copy of Tracey’s fabulous book
Quick & Tasty Kid’s Recipes for Busy Mums Simply email: email@example.com by 18 May 2018. Put Kids Recipes in the Subject Line and your name and address in the body of the message.
BUSY MUM - NUTRITION meals seem to be a staple in many homes.
The book includes simple recipes from tasty potato mash to slightly intense, yet juicy flavours like fish curry.
My passion for cooking started in my teen years and was my favourite household task. All that changed though when I had kids!
We asked Tracey: What Do You Do To Ensure Your Meals Are Healthy?
I soon found I could not spend much time in the kitchen because there were other demands and important people that needed my attention. My first child was also a bit of a fussy eater, so I was always looking for and trying out new foods with him whilst on maternity leave. This was when my family food journey began to become even more interesting.
I use vegetables in my cooking and like to use fresh herbs or occassionally dried ones. These give great tasty flavours as opposed to artificial seasoning that has chemical preservatives in and has a higher salt content. I also grill or bake food rather than fry it. What are Your Top Tips To Help You With Fussy Eaters?
As a busy mum, I realised that all I wanted were quick, tasty, home cooked meals that were healthy for my family. Thankfully he is no longer a fussy eater but I totally understand how frustrating it can be for some mums..
● Make food more colourful using the vegetables they like: - sweet corn, carrots, peas etc ● Reduce snack time so that they have an increased appetite when food is served
In 2015, I started to document my food journey, writing down recipes I made at home for the family and particularly those that the children loved, I got other mums to test out recipes and provide feedback which they did and it was generally positive.
● Eat at the same time so they can see you enjoying the food. What Would You Say To Those Who Think They Haven’t Got Time To Prepare Home Cooked Meals? Home cooked meals do not need to take a lot of time. It's all about planning meals for the family. You can start by taking say 30 mins one day in the week when you are relaxed to plan the food. Then when you cook the meals, you can make larger quantities of things like sauces, stews and curries and refridgerate them. Then use them with other food combinations like cooked pasta as the week progresses. It's easier when you are not having to cook from scratch after a busy day at work.
I know that keeping food exciting and creative does not come naturally to a lot of mums and rightfully so as we already have a lot to think about. I realised that this was an area of concern for many mums and I felt it an honour to be able to share my journey with other mums and their children! This led to the launch of my first kids’ recipe book in 2016- Quick and Tasty Kids Recipes For Busy Mums. The book is designed to support mums with simple, yet creative, quick and tasty recipes which they can make for their children, using natural herbs and spices .
Tracey will be sharing some of her recipes in future issues. Her fabulous book is available via her website and Amazon.
CELEBRATING KIDS DOING POSITIVE THINGS
GIFTED GIRLS Jada Thompson,11Celbratingkdsfl and her sisters Sherine Walrond and Tariah Bailey recently held an event in Birmingham called 'Gifted Girls'. This event was aimed at girls aged between 8-18 years who are creative and aspire to have a business one day. Jada spoke at the event about self esteem and confidence! Others spoke about money, positive risk taking, empowerment and inspiration. The girls will be hosting the second Gifted Girls event in the Summer School Holidays. One mum who attended with her daughter said: ‘My eyes were filled with tears as the girls talked about who they were and what they wanted to do’
Don’t forget to send in photos and details of Kids Doing Positive Things, for the next edition. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jada and Saffirah Pryce standing in front of a ‘self love’ wall.
‘I am Special!’, ‘I am amazing!’, ‘I am confident!’.......
strong!’...’I believe in myself!’.....’ I can do this!’
These are just some of the many positive affirmations that my children and I say to ourselves, and each other daily, whether it be over breakfast, en-route to school, or during our bedtime routine.
So what does the use of Affirmations bring to our family? I have two sons aged 6 and 7 and a daughter aged 2 years. Having a primary teaching background myself, I have always tried hard to be a positive Mum. Once my children started to attend school however, I soon realised that there were so many influences and experiences, that my children were exposed to, which were to a certain extent, out of my control.
I first started using affirmations with my children after becoming a Relax Kids coach in July 2017. Whilst training as a coach, it soon became clear to me, just how powerful, “ being your own cheerleader”, could actually be. Immediately, I started to use affirmations with my young family, with the intention of enhancing their self esteem and self love.
Affirmations therefore, are a powerful tool that I use as a parent, to help to build resilience in my children, to enable them to face whatever the day decides to throw at them, and to enhance their self esteem and self love. Affirmations boost confidence, and when used with and by our children, can introduce positive “ self talk” from a young age, helping them to have a good self image.
So what exactly are Affirmations? An affirmation is a positive word or sentence that you repeat to yourself, to help you to feel good about yourself. Affirmations can help you to feel more positive, confident, determined or simply happier. Some examples of an affirmation would be.....’ I am wonderful!”....…’ ‘I am
AFFIRMATIONS - TRY THIS So how do I use Affirmations with my family?
this applies to adults too.
Our Affirmation Calendar
This can be played during family mealtimes
Our day starts with our giant Affirmation Wall Calendar, from which we read the ‘Affirmation of the day’ before school. Sometimes we choose a personal affirmation to say en-route to school, to build ourselves up to face the day ahead! As a result, positive words are already a big part of my two year olds growing vocabulary. Lunch box/ pocket notes/ treasure hunt Sometimes I will pop a written affirmation card into my children's lunch boxes or coat pocket for them to find as a surprise, or hide them around the house for the children to find. Mirror Affirmations This is a game I play a lot with my two year old. Children can, in the beginning, find it difficult to say positive things about themselves, so practising saying affirmations into a mirror can be powerful,
Names in a bag/ Special Person
A name is chosen from the bag and family members take turns to say something nice/ positive about the chosen person. this can take various forms, ‘You are...….’ ‘I like the way you.....,’ ‘ You are great at….,’ etc. Door Affirmations Next on my to do list is putting a heart shaped affirmation onto my children's bedroom doors to build up a personal display for them as to what I think their positive qualities are. Finally, my children's absolute favourite affirmation game has to be choosing an affirmation at random from a drawstring bag at bedtime. They then like to sleep with this under their pillow. By Claire Gretton
Daily affirmations can help teenagers cope with the stresses in their lives, achieve more and enjoy greater self confidence. Start each day by reading the affirmation and repeat several times throughout the day. Stronger faith in what you are saying and more desire and feelings, brings faster results.
BUY NOW www.fear-busters.com
feeling and whether working with me has helped. What topics do you deal with?
Terri Burningham works as an Emotional Literary Support Assistant at Farndon Fields Primary School in Market Harborough. The school has 203 pupils from Foundation Year to Year 6. It is part of the Discovery Schools Academy Trust (DSAT) What Does An ELSA do? An ELSA offers support and interventions to help with children’s mental health and emotional well-being because if children are worried or anxious about things they don’t access learning as successfully. How do you interact with the children? I run assemblies and meetings so that all the children, teachers and parents know what my role as an ELSA is. Children can let me know that they want to talk to me by putting a note in our ‘Worry Box,’ simply popping along to my room or just chatting to me when I am walking around the school. What sort of support can you give? I work one to one with children, run group sessions and also hold assemblies and special events about specific topics. Interventions run from a single chat with a child to a series of discussions perhaps over six weeks. With programmes running over a longer period I do a before and after assessment to see how the child is
These can be very varied as all children are different and what worries one may not bother another. Common issues are around friendships, bereavement, divorce, adoption, trauma, online safety and bullying. Sometimes children have behavioural or anger issues. In some instances they don’t even know why they are angry but through talking we can unpick things and discover what it would be beneficial for the child to work on. How was the ELSA role created? ELSA’s are an Educational Psychology led Intervention for promoting the emotional well-being for children and young people. The ELSA role was developed by Sheila Burton in Southampton. Some ELSA ‘s have been doing the role for over 10 years . I’ve been an ELSA for about two and a half years. Most ELSA ‘s are Teaching Assistants or Learning Support Assistants in schools. What training do ELSA’s have? I attended a four day training course and a series of supervised sessions. To retain my accreditation I also have to undertake ongoing supervision with an educational psychologist. This helps me to continue to develop my knowledge of the psychological development of children and young people, consider the meaning behind children’s behaviours and apply psychological principles to the process of supporting change. I have also had the privilege to head up an ELSA Network with Tracey Lawrence/Head Teacher of Danemill Primary School, Leicester, for ELSA's and Training ELSA's to attend and meet
ELSA ELSA- -EDUCATION EDUCATION recent events we did was for Children's Mental Health Week and invited Parents and children to an Open Tea & Toast Morning. It was a huge success and lots of parents enjoyed the interaction and a chance to meet and talk to each other. One parent gave this feedback for our 2017 Oftsed report:-
regularly to share best practice and support each other in our roles. Our meetings are specifically targeted on different agenda's to help the ELSA's, e.g. Attachment and Trauma in Looked after Children and Bereavement to name just a few. I invite local charities in to discuss best practice and how we can work together in the future to help give the children the best future they deserve, by using their skills of resilience, self-esteem, team work, and independence.
‘Farndon Fields has been a breath of fresh air, with both its positive approach to academic schooling as well as the additional emotional support and care given.’
What about Confidentiality and Safeguarding?
Finally what’s the main message you want to share with our readers about the ELSA role?
I make it very clear to the children that the things they say to me are confidential. If a safeguarding matter arises however I have a duty to refer this on and everyone is clear about this.
I would really love it if all schools could have an ELSA. It’s so important to give the children opportunities to talk and to help them be optimistic and resilient.
What do the children think? When I work with the children I ask them to write down their thoughts, here’s a few:
We work with the children and give them the tools and the strategies to resolve their worries. I believe a child with a healthy dose of self-esteem has the best defence against life’s challenges .
‘I will help other people because I know the struggles some people deal with are hard to deal with alone’
An ELSA can really help children from an early age so that they have the best chance of success in their learning and life
‘I will calm down and meditate when I have a worry’
TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN CHILDREN'S MENTAL HEALTH & WELL-BEING
‘I really enjoyed the bullying session. I learned how to stand up to bullies.’
Find out more at: www.elsanetwork.org
And the parents? At Farndon Fields we have an 'Open Door' Policy for all Parents/Carers to encourage them to come in and talk about their concerns or worries about their child. I also put on special events and involve the parents. This is a whole school ethos that we adopt to engage Parents in their child's school life. One of the
According to the National Autistic Society there are around 700,000 autistic people in the UK. Together with their families, this means it affects more than 2.8 million people. Autism is a developmental disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to other people, and how they experience the world around them. www.autism.org.uk
AUTISM HELPLINE 0808 800 4104 To give you some idea of what it feels like to be an Autistic person. Sit down and notice how all your clothes feel on your body, next pay attention to how your legs/ bottom feel as you are sat down. Then imagine that the computer or tablet you are reading this on is buzzing so loudly that you cannot think straight. This happens all at once for an autistic person; they simply cannot turn off all this sensory input, which our brains automatically filter out. I bet that you didn't notice how your seat felt until I asked you to take notice of it. It is this type of sensory overload which can lead to outbursts and the need for reparative soothing behaviours. Jan Dering, Teaching Assistant
Getting a formal autism diagnosis can mean access to the right support, and an explanation for why certain things are so difficult. There are many online ‘autism tests’ but these cannot guarantee accuracy, and are no replacement for a formal diagnosis. www.autism.org.uk We asked members of the facebook group: South Wales Autism and Behavioural Support Group: - how you do know when it's enough of an issue that you should talk to your GP? ‘When several issues are persistent enough to cause you concern. Like food, sleep, speech and the need for routine all manifesting. When your friends also notice some of the issues.’ ‘For me it was when I couldn’t get my daughter toilet trained. She was my fifth child so I knew all the tricks.’ ‘When your child is showing emotionally or struggling educationally.’ ‘I went when he was struggling at home and at nursery and speech was very delayed.’ ‘Go with your gut instinct, write your concerns down and be persistent.’ ‘For us it was his temper. I remember thinking that’s not normal for 18 months.’ ‘When we realised we were not meeting our sons needs’ ‘Schools can be very helpful at spotting signs and getting the diagnosis.’
Find autism friendly resources in your local area at www.theautismdirectory.com
AUTISM AND THE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT Many Autistic children find the school environment very over stimulating. From loud and noisy classrooms, bright displays, changing activities and overhead fluorescent lights; all of these can over stimulate an Autistic child. This can lead to an understandable overwhelming desire to escape! Teaching self-soothing techniques will go some way to helping a stressed child to calm down and be in the right frame of mind to be open to learning. Some great self-soothing techniques are: having a self -soothing tool box which might contain something soft to touch such as a small soft teddy bear, or a stress ball. Soft relaxing music or noise cancelling headphones, a snow globe or glitter tube, a packet of mints, cotton wool balls with lavender oil on them. All of these are designed to gently stimulate the 5 senses which may seem a strange thing to do to an already over stimulated child, but these are controlled stimulations, which the child is fully in control of. They get to choose how and which of these they use. Normally 15-20 minutes is enough time for the child to become calm and ready to become involved again within the class. However, there are times when even the best self-soothing techniques will not be enough. This is when exercise and movement can play its part to help the Autistic child regain some control over the overwhelming stimulations around them. Movement breaks as these brain breaks are often called, are a simple set of selfdirected movements. Children can pick from a set of movement cards, each one has one movement on it along with how many times that movement needs to be repeated. Movements on these cards are gross movements and cross the midline exercises. (Imagine there is a line drawn down your body from the top of your head to the tips of your toes, this imaginary line
runs down the middle of your body. that is the midline.) Some schools in America have shown remarkable success with these midline exercises and children with ADHD and Autism. Movement such as tapping left elbow to right knee then changing and doing the same with the right elbow and left knee, or standing on one leg slowing swing the other leg across the body to the opposite side, then changing legs. There is a growing body of research that now suggests that 20 minutes of vigorous exercise can go a significant way to improving both attention and thinking ability. The research also showed that it didn't matter what exercise it was, as along as the child was out of breath, the results where the same. So whether the activity is bike riding, roller blading or, running, gross body movements and getting out of breath were the key factors. Therefore building regular exercise breaks into the school day is a very easy but important step schools can do to improve the school experience not only for Autistic children, but for all children. (I can hear schools saying â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;but we have no spare time,' my question back is â&#x20AC;&#x2DC; how much time do you spend dealing with stressed out over stimulated children?â&#x20AC;&#x2122; That time is better used de stressing them in the first place.) By Jan Dering, Teaching Assistant
How do you cope when you hear that word autism being applied to your child? Relief that you hadn’t imagined there was something different? Or fear for what is to become of your child? I have four boys all diagnosed with classic, severe autism. The twins at nearly three had no language, no eye contact, they didn’t turn to their names, they didn’t point at things, they had terrible temper tantrums. All the early warning signs were there but I didn’t see them or know what they meant. I did by the time my next two boys were diagnosed at only two years old. Autism is a spectrum which covers a range of difficulties from communication to social skills. Within the autistic spectrum a child’s abilities can vary enormously. Some children may be non verbal like all my boys were, others may have normal language but issues with social interaction, usually known as Asperger’s syndrome. There is an expression ‘if you have met one child with autism, you have met one child with autism’. You cannot apply generalisations. Every child is unique and how their autism affects them is individual to them. Even though my four boys all
have a similar level of autism, they all have different needs and abilities. They each deserve an equal chance to succeed in life like any other child. What can be done to help a child with autism? A great deal more than people think. For our four boys, a system called ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) a full time therapy programme, was what brought them from being non verbal, having frequent meltdowns and no play skills to the young adults they are today; verbal, happily functioning within society and able to follow their own dreams and aspirations. It was not an easy option. There are no easy options. It can be a long and lonely journey having a child with autism but one that is so worth all the effort you put into it. If I had one message for parents It would be never, never give up hope. Your child is more capable than you or anyone knows. With the right support, their lives can change dramatically but it may be a big battle to get that support. For us, it meant three educational tribunals and financial hardship. It may also be a battle to get others around you
COPING WITH AUTISM to accept that you are not the cause of your childâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s problems. There are so many decisions to be made Special needs or mainstream school? What are the risks if you have another baby? Which therapy to choose from a bewildering list of options including educational methods, behavioural interventions, biomedical treatments? How do you know which ones will work? Which are genuine? Who will pay for it all? Where do you find practical help and advice? I have had to make many decisions over the past 18 years. I am glad to say that I believe I made the right choices. The improvements in my boys support those decisions. Book I wrote a book as I was contacted by so many parents for advice and support. I did not have time to talk to them all. A book would reach so many more people. I wanted to pass on the practical advice which took me years to acquire like how to get an EHCP, how to get financial support, how to choose a school or nursery, how to deal with sensory issues. More importantly, I wanted to support
people emotionally through the diagnosis and after it. The huge emotional toll on a family is often ignored. If parents are not supported, how can they support their own children? How can we prevent marriage breakdowns? How do we maintain friendships and our own identities? I have been through a roller coaster of emotions myself over the past 18 years. Autism affects us all, not just our children. Autism is still not fully understood. There are many theories but we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t yet know what causes autism. It brings with it many deficits but also gifts which may be practical ones such as an amazing memory for facts. I also appreciate that our children regard everyone equally, their lack of social awareness can at times be refreshing. I would like to disprove many myths; that children with autism have no empathy, that they dislike physical contact; that those who cannot talk, cannot understand what is being said; that we should expect little of them in the way of improvement. Ignore the myths and look at the child. By Sarah Ziegel
FOR A CHANCE TO WIN a copy of Coping with Autism by Sarah Ziegel Email: email@example.com by 18 May 2018 with Autism in the subject line and your address in the body of the message.
GIRLS AND AUTISM autistic) and my eight year old diagnosed autistic daughter. This high level of empathy helps my daughter pursue one of her special interests: animal care and training. She is able to bond with animals very quickly and finds it easy to get animals to trust her and respond to her training. This ability to work well with animals appears to be common amongst autistic females with many such women pursuing careers in animal care, a notable example being Temple Grandin. When it comes to autism there appears to be a huge gender divide with the ratio of male:female diagnoses as large as 16:1 according to some studies (http://www.autism.org.uk/about/whatis/gender.aspx). The truth behind these figures is probably not that more males than female are autistic but that males are better represented than females in medical texts and the media. When people think of autism they usually picture an introverted, quiet male who is good at maths. In truth autism is a wide spectrum and no two individuals on that spectrum are the same. Females with ASD often present very differently to males with ASD. They are usually more socially aware and strive to hide or "mask" their autism, thus appearing more neurotypical than their male counterparts. Additionally, females with autism often display precocious language skills and have a larger vocabulary. One myth about autism that is disturbingly prevalent is that autistic people are incapable of empathy, in fact the exact opposite appears to be true, especially when referring to females with autism. Many autistic females feel empathy to such a degree that they would almost describe it as a â&#x20AC;&#x153;sixth senseâ&#x20AC;?, I know that this is true for both me (undiagnosed but almost certainly
Over the past couple of years we have had to put up with a lot of ignorance pertaining to my daughter's diagnosis, both from friends and medical professionals alike. We have had friends tell us that they don't believe she is autistic because she greets them in the street or doesn't act exactly like some person they've known at one point in their life who also happened to be autistic. Getting her diagnosed took four years of fighting because the paediatrician refused to acknowledge her autism, telling me she couldn't possibly be autistic because she made eye contact and could speak! Such lack of awareness of the condition is not unusual and, in fact, is perhaps to be expected given that the male-centric view of autism is still being used to diagnose people with ASD and the fact that autism is still being taught as an "extreme male brain disorder" in colleges. In recent years the National Autistic Society and other autism charities have been working to dispel the myths surrounding autism and to raise awareness of female autism to the wider public but a lot more still needs to be done before a real change can come about. By Hayley France
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I never used to ‘believe’ in labels, preferring to accept a broad based diagnosis for the two of my four children, who are on the Autism spectrum. Both my sons had their diagnosis following their primary school’s concerns at age 4. They also have learning disabilities and the youngest has ADHD. Life was a challenge! Our eldest, was more typically autistic. Everything had to be lined up, he liked to be alone and when he wasn’t he had to be in charge-even coming out of the goal at football, picking up the ball and holding onto it so no one else could have it. He hand flapped and had a stilted, sometimes peculiar edge to his speech and language. He had big mood swings and didn’t sleep well but it was better than the every half hour waking for the first 4 years. He has a very deep mind and complex character, he’s great at thinking through the world’s issues. Both boys are clearly intelligent despite LD, neither are particularly academic, not as yet anyway. Once he went up to his special secondary school there was a marked difference in his whole persona. He learned to read with the aid of his step dad and the new school. He was finally attaining his goals.
He even looked different and walked differently. It was like he had burst from a cage! For a year things were fairly even ,then we hit Yr 8. I’m not sure exactly what happened but he was quickly being excluded (illegally), eventually meaning 14 months out of school and setting the pattern for the next 6 years or so of his life. He got into trouble through others and to cut a long, sad story short (I am writing a book) I made the most difficult decision to put him into care at 16. His understanding then was of a much younger child despite his outward ‘normal’ appearance. The care system placed him in with ex-offenders and we are now only just coming out of the most traumatic situation and rebuilding our family. He’s been through education that doesn’t work, care that often doesn’t care, an outdated, unsympathetic judicial system and was street homeless in the freezing cold this time last year. I have PTSD as a result. This leads me to repeat why a label? A client came to me recently asking me about PDA. I looked it up ‘Pathological Demand Avoidance’ and sent the profile
PATHALOGICAL DEMAND AVOIDANCE to family members and professionals. All came back with a resounding yes to my son’s characteristics!
And some DIY skills may come in handy too! ● Any technique that you can use for your own stress and anxiety will benefit you both, At some point you may be able to teach that to your child too.
I attended a PDA workshop and learned the profile has quite a clear distinction going from atypical Autism to fitting the PDA profile. Often they are misdiagnosed or as in our case, even having the ASD diagnosis removed, that’s another story though!
They are not ‘naughty kids’ and we are not ‘bad parents’ The specialists working with this condition describe it as the’ single most complex and difficult diagnosis they work with’ They cannot imagine what this is like 24/7.
What’s different to Autism? A lot, for a start many of the strategies for Autism simply don’t work. Thankfully my sons’ Autism specialist encouraged me to keep doing as I was because I was getting results.
This particular group is so vulnerable within society that the parents, families and those with the profile need all the support, compassion, understanding and tolerance that can be achieved with new thinking, new systems and creative approaches brought forward.
This gave me a lot of confidence in my approach and I can say the more creative the better, as PDAers are fantastic at finding anyway to get out of something even if IT’S SOMETHING THEY ENJOY DOING !!!
If we achieved all the above then that may well impact and benefit all of society.
Their decision must come from them. They will do anything to avoid that demand on them, no matter how small or how important. Mood swings can be very erratic as a result of high anxiety, ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ is a typical analogy.
The PDA Society has a website, great information, leaflets, workshops, books and support run by parent volunteers. www.pdasociety.org.uk
What can you do to improve things? ● Never take things personally, they are usually so apologetic after, it can break your heart. Give them the space and time they need. ● Be creative with your language and approach around choices. ● Balance tolerance and demands stretch yourself on this one and choose your battles well. ● Listen to your child or young person closely, pick up on what they are not saying, feel what they are feeling.
The National Autistic Society also lists the profile and a useful guide (search PDA on website) www.autism.org.uk By Karen Ablett Karen is a well-being practitioner. She is also creating a project for young people with ASD to address anxiety, confidence and self esteem and provide vocational skills to enable them to access meaningful apprenticeships or find work in a more conducive environment.
confidence helped me feel stronger inside. I think too many young people have low self-esteem. It shouldn’t be about what others think of you, it should be about what you think of yourself. Here’s my thoughts on how to be more confident: 1.) Stop comparing. Stay focused on YOU 2.) Relax. Go with the flow and don’t stress the little things. 3.) Love yourself. You are a gift. Nothing would be the same if you didn’t exist. 4.) Be positive and look for the good in every situation.
13 year old Maya is an ambitious actress and film maker. She also has lots of business ideas. Maya has written an amazing chapter in the Kindle Bestseller Confidence Confidential:- a collection of perspectives on confidence from girls and women aged 13-70. She says:-
5.) Do more of what you love. Life is too short to waste your time doing anything else. My tips to improve self-esteem are • Think about what is affecting your selfesteem
‘I’ve learnt that confidence is like a muscle:- the more you use it, the stronger it gets. So how might you do that? For me, it was about throwing myself into situations and just giving them a go.
• Avoid negative self-talk
A particular time in my life that I remember was when I first went to acting classes. The classes were in town and in the first session all the kids had to stand in a circle and say their name. At first, I was nervous. Before it was my moment to speak I was worried, then I literally shouted my name loudly and with force. I felt so relieved. I had been dreading it the whole time.
• Take care of yourself
I was proud of myself. I wanted to carry on, and I had a passion. I was enjoying myself. After a while, I started to change. I felt like I could do something. I could achieve more. This newly found
• Connect with people who love you • Learn to be assertive • Focus on your positives • Set yourself a challenge I’ve set a Four Week Challenge in my chapter. Here are some of my suggestions: - Look in the mirror without sulking or judging - Introduce yourself to three people you don’t know - Say yes to something you wouldn’t normally do - Turn off your phone and spend time truly enjoying your own company’
CONFIDENCE CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENCE-CONFIDENTIAL YOUNG MINDS 16 year old Renee is a young carer and natural leader. Her chapter in the book is her first published writing. She is now developing confidence building programmes for school children as well as working as an apprentice at Marcia M Publishing House. Renee says:- ‘As a black adolescent woman I sometimes observe the way we are treated particularly around the stereotypes within music; the shape of your body - the big bottoms; big breasts; small waist; long weave. We are often accused of being super sexy, for example, the typical Nicki Minaj or Instagram girl. Young black women can feel disaffected if they don’t look like this. In addition to the ‘sexy’ label, I’ve noticed two other stereotypes applied to black women: ‘The “Mammy’; an old, fat and mainly dark skinned woman often shown as a nanny or other form of ‘help’ in films. The final stereotype is the independent, strong black woman or the ‘sassy’ black friend according to some movies. She is loud, aggressive and cannot be walked all over. Because of these stereotypes many black young women lack confidence, they are not sure about how to behave. If I assert myself it is confused with aggression I have sometimes acted more passively and not stood up for myself when I really wanted to. As employees the stereotypes keep us in a box, they limit our opportunities and can affect our confidence levels if we are looking to pursue a career that is outside of the stereotypical professions which tend to be around caring, singing,dancing or sports. Stereotypes can affect the self-confidence of young girls. It would be great if someone
said, ‘you know Renee, I bet she’s going to be an astronaut or a pilot. ‘ I’ve realised I don't need to conform to stereotypes and I don’t let them affect my confidence now. I recently watched ‘The Black Panther Marvel Movie’ it is based in a land called Wakanda, all of the characters are black and they are super heroes. The black women are portrayed as strong, powerful protectors of their land. The women are beautiful and wear their hair in amazing natural styles and have very original and creative make up. Watching this movie helped me as a young black woman to feel proud and confident about myself and my history. The film did not show any of the usual stereotypes and that was a good thing. I believe that it’s best if we have no judgement, are not prejudiced against others and don't buy into any stereotypes’ Confidence Confidential, A Collaboration of Perspectives is published by Marcia M Publishing House. It is now available to buy on Amazon
searching online for Land Rover Defenders. Something which would communicate my outdoor adventurous passions, despite those passions ‘actually’ having less and less association with my life today.
Fathering has been a real enrichment to my life. Checking in at twelve months in, it was an absolutely fantastic journey of stops, starts, and curve balls. Most notably I was determined to combat my over achievement and biased towards work. Whether it was projects, DIY around the home or my full-time job. Daily I chose to work solidly and clock off on time- ensuring I prioritised family or find fulfilment through my achievements at work. It was a great challenge and truly was a privileged situation to have. I was constantly confronted by the pressure to conform to financial responsibility and striving. Whether it was marketing aimed to encourage me to buy products which develop, protect, or secure my family’s future. Peer influences no doubt had a big influence: keeping up with The Jones’s, as their financial goals increased. But also, new purchasing habits which communicate my character , as my identity profoundly changed being a parent. I regularly caught myself up in the early hours
Naturally with these pressures I could have gravitated towards long working hours and a sloppy work life balance. A by-product of this, is often poor health, less effective work practices and becoming isolated. In those times I discovered that Family is a great detox. No matter how late I was for my commute, two minutes ensuring my family got some of my time is time better spent. To add to this, early on, fathering, was mentally more of a challenge. I would come in from work and have a couple of hours with a screaming child. This was a particular testing time for my future as a father. It would set the foundations of my outlook on parenting and whether I was sufficiently capable and competent. My daughter would daily reject my efforts and this at times dramatically shaped my view of my role, contribution and identity. Often, I would feel incompetent, not able to make a difference and subsequently be at risk of disengaging from my responsibility to my wife and child. At times the pressure to provide and the lure of work, appeared to be the less conflicting solution. New dads often relate to their experience with words such as; daunted, overwhelmed, very stressed, excluded, inadequate. This scenario with little tailored support for dad, can lead to further corrosion between the father child relationship and greater pressure on mum. Attempting to be a proactive dad I sought help from professionals. But often found myself in a room with my wife, the baby
A DAD’S PERSPECTIVE - RELATIONSHIPS and a professional who didn’t even acknowledge that I was in the room, let alone, ask how I was doing. For these reasons, it’s vital that dads connect with other dads. To be encouraged, access relevant support and receive some positivity, particularly during these transformational seasons. During this testing time, I began to learn the art of developing resilience. Daily I had to meet discouragement and had to choose to try again and again. It was an investment. I’m now in a position where I am reaping the reward of such relentless effort. My daughter will now allow me to put her to bed, feed her, hold her, play with her and spend time with her, rather than just with her mother. She often now responds better to my requests and is passionate about time with her dad. I’m not out to compete with
my wife about who’s the favourite parent, more I’m passionate about establishing a fantastic relationship with all of my family members. My daughters change of receptiveness to me is obviously profound, for building and maintaining the relationship as my child grows. It empowers my wife to have time to herself. There’s also an increasing body of research demonstrating the integral link between dad’s involvement and deprivation stats relating to health, education and poverty for the whole family. I feel on top of the moon and thriving as a father. It’s not been an easy start on my journey of parenting. However, I have had to redirect my ambitions and energy to be intentional, despite the cards often being against me. And I’m loving it! By Jon Nevill of This Dad Can
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It had always been my intention for my child to grow up with animals around him, as they teach us so much. My childhood was spent on a farm with animals so I knew the true value of them. My son’s dog is a Chihuahua, called Barnacles Bear, named after a character in the children’s TV programme ‘The Octonauts’. The programme is all about animals. There is a crew of heroes, all animals, and they spend their days saving, caring and rescuing sea creatures.
My son is seven and our dog is two, being a small breed my child learnt the art of careful handling when we first had our dog. He had previously been afraid of dogs, but this small, character filled pooch has helped him heal. Now my son is completely at peace when a dog approaches. No matter the size or shape, one dog fixed all. He has also helped a number of other children with the same issue. Understanding
He recently had a friend over to play who is not as used to dogs, and he had shut the door in a room on the dog. My son On the way home from a recent trip my son spoke about how he couldn’t wait to opened the door, as he knew Barnacles Bear didn’t like it. We do not need to see his dog and give him cuddles. The speak the same language in order to ability to care about and for another, is understand what someone or something one of the many gifts that an animal brings into our children’s lives and hearts. else is trying to say. The first night back from our short break, Barnacles Bear is a strong character and if my son pushes his boundaries he will let I went into my son to find him asleep on him know. his bed with the dog cuddled up under Caring
the covers, resting his head on my son’s cheek. A picture of total peace, harmony and love.
Calming When my son gets upset, when he feels that really uncontrollable exhaustion,
CHILDREN AND PETS - RELATIONSHIPS We had recently watched a children’s programme ‘Charlie and Lola’ and in their a mouse had died and they got a box and decorated it. To be the home for the animal when in was buried.
frustration or gets hurt, he calls for his dog. He holds Barnacles Bear until he is the other side of his intense emotions. Boundaries
The synchronicity of us seeing this programme, before this real event happened, did not go unnoticed.
We also have a rabbit called Mr Barnacles. He was initially a house rabbit but as he grew and the hormones kicked in his behaviour became more challenging. So no he is in a hutch and has supervised play in the house, My son understood that things needed to change.
So we got a shoe box and he decorated it, placed the rabbit in the box and chose the spot where he wanted the rabbit buried. He chose somewhere where a plant grew, so he would always know and remember where the rabbit was. I dug the hole and he placed the box in it, we said a prayer for the rabbit. My son said he would never forget him. We went home.
Circle Of Life In 2016 I was driving my mother home, and in front of the car on a narrow lane, lay a small black rabbit. I stopped the car, and saw that it was a young rabbit, with no use of his back legs . It was breathing quite rapidly. I went to the nearest house to check but did not find an owner.
If I thought that was the depth and learning of the event complete, it wasn’t. I have on my wardrobe door a note, a note my son asked me to write, as at the time he was not able to write all the words.
I took the rabbit to the car. My son saw it and was enthralled. He started talking straight away about taking care of the rabbit, taking it home, and wondered what our our rabbit would think about it. My mother cradled the rabbit, while I discussed with my son that the rabbit needed veterinary help, so that is where I was going to go. In amongst all the discussion, the rabbit passed away.
So he spoke and I wrote, here it is my son’s words “We found a rabbit and he died, but we didn’t forget him. We remembered him” From black rabbit, another gift from animals. The understanding of life cycles, the ability to love whether alive or dead. What a gift. By Sally Saint Other reasons pets are good for kids:
I told my son he had gone to heaven. I also explained that the rabbit had died with someone holding him and surrounded by love. I didn’t know how my son would respond, but he was inspirational. He very clearly said he would like to take the rabbit to my mothers house. We drove to her house and we talked about what we would do.
Teaches responsibility, encourages kids to be outside, can reduce allergies in later life, can create shared caring opportunities amongst siblings, cuddling a pet can reduce stress and lower blood pressure, some kids enjoy reading aloud to pets encourages learning, reduces loneliness.
they display compulsive and risk-taking behaviours - amongst other things. I’d interpret this to indicate that all areas of our children’s lives are very much our business. Stand in their way at your peril!
Romance Now this is one of those subject areas that stumps most parents. Never mind the confusion and uncertainty that romantic relationships bring out in our children; accepting and watching our babies grow and bloom into sexual beings seems to be one of the most uncomfortable transitions that parents have to go through! But with blessings – that time will come to us all. We really should be embracing a more positive attitude by celebrating the health of our children and the natural order of events. This is supposed to happen. A lot of the fear that parents experience is down to the lack of control, feeling that our children no longer need us or that their relationships are really none of our business. But nothing could be further from the truth. Our children are still developing – and neuropsychologists are now bringing forth plenty of evidence that the adolescent developmental process does not end until mid-20’s. Studies show that teens struggle to interpret emotions in others and that
The first thing that you can be very certain of is ‘love conquers all’. Once ‘love’ takes a hold, with hormones raging and genuine feelings emerge - stand in its way if you dare. Love will find every possible way to stay alive and if that means defying you – so be it. Stand in its path and it will go around you, go under you, go over you or simply knock you flat out of the way. You may be able to discourage your child for a while, you may be able to keep them from their natural instinct to seek romantic partnerships for many years after their peers are doing so – but when cupid’s arrow lands - clear the path. All sense and reasoning will fly out of the window. In the greatest love stories there is always an obstacle to overcome; intensifying the feelings each has for the other. It could be distance, religion, war or opposition from parents. Yes, by blind opposition you could inadvertently drive the love birds evermore firmly into one another’s clutches. If we want to highlight the flaws of their chosen love – if we want to prevent the potential car crash that you in your wisdom and clarity can see – then you may have to play it a lot smarter than giving a simple ‘No’. ‘No’ or ‘because I said so’ are as effective as the naughty-step – useless tools against love. Guidance Is Key Way before our children embark on their romantic journeys there is groundwork to be done. We ought to be instilling in them and discussing key attributes that should exist within all of their relationships.
YOUNG ROMANCE - RELATIONSHIPS Self-respect; respect for others; care; communication; loyalty; and time are all things that should be invested into positive friendships. The romance part – is just like the icing on-top of the cake after all of those elements exist. Ensure your child knows what qualities and values are important. Without these factors – without your relationship being at a point where your child can openly talk about naturally occurring feelings then you leave your child vulnerable. Unless brought up in a commune – your children will be exposed to a way of life that may not be entirely wholesome. Pornography for one is rife. It is easily accessible, and studies show that both boys and girls are learning from these often very misogynistic portrayals of women and how they should be viewed and treated within sexual relationships. We don’t have to go as far as pornography to see a warped view of relationships. Reality TV shows, song content and music videos are often highly sexualised – and portray sex as a hobby. Something to do without the consequence of repercussion. The actual relationship, based on mutual respect and friendship are more often than not – totally missing. Sex without context, is a stand-alone act – it’s empty, meaningless and can be quite damaging. Not only the physical risk of STI’s, unwanted pregnancies, but also the long term-emotional risks. Studies have found that there are correlations between casual sex and poor emotional well-being. Boundaries So – we often find ourselves in a space where we don’t want to encourage – but nor do we want to discourage to a point where we push our children away or back them into a corner where their nature will overlook our feelings and drive them to
choose the ‘other’. Boundaries are key. What are you comfortable with? What do you feel is inappropriate? There is a line that can be crossed with public displays of affection – where is that line for you? Time alone in bedrooms may be too much for you. My rule of thumb is to find out where your own boundaries are; what you absolutely know you won’t tolerate and then – with the full knowledge that your child will test whatever boundary you put in place – choose a point that gives your child room to push against it that won’t ultimately endanger them. The Beauty Young love is beautiful. Nature – it is meant to be. ‘Nature always finds a way’ –wise words from Jurassic Park as I recall! It’s about your guidance. It’s about the love and respect for your child to allow them to grow and develop into sexual beings. Guidance on what a partnership is. Guidance on the good character of the person - not just a focus on the external attributes. It is not taboo. It is made to feel taboo by media portrayal which is often in direct conflict with the moral understanding. Bring the trust and the conversations into your home and take joy in their beautiful development. By Anika Vassell, Teen Behaviourist
TEACH YOUR KIDS ABOUT MONEY featured words like real estate, securities, assets, liabilities and passive income. My children were playing games over and over again and learning new things all the time, and how to become financially free.
Today there are increasingly large numbers of electronic transactions taking place all over the world, with gadgets helping us communicate, arrange dates, shop for food, study for a degree, pay for a range of products and services. Smartphones are encouraging the disappearance of cash from our normal lives. This way of doing business poses some problems because we now need to be creative about explaining to children in a digital age, how money is exchanged between buyers and sellers. We also understand from recent scientific experiments that children learn money habits watching their parents, as early as the age of 5! These studies suggest that children need to be taught to save money. Growing up in an age where cash and cheques were the main forms of exchange, I found that being a single parent to three, now young adults, it was crucial for me to learn ‘kids speak’ and communicate to the children in a language that helped them grasp financial concepts. This proved more challenging than I envisaged until we started playing games. Our first stop was “cash flow,” an American product which
After many discussions it was time to let them manage a little bit of money for real. We went to the bank and I applied for all 3 to have a debit card and savings accounts to the amusement of the cashier (they were aged 9, 11, and 13). Later, I set £2-a-week standing order to each of their accounts, so they had some money to practise with. This single action impacted on their grasp of the financial world, language and confidence as I overheard the youngest child ask her bank why she had to wait until she was 14 to get internet banking access! As a family unit, we learned to discuss and list items for grocery shopping and to pay utility bills, in turns. The children kept purchase receipts even though they complained about it. I encouraged a savings habit by paying them interest on their unspent pocket money. We all shared a ‘house card’ which was used for buying items needed in the home. They learned to do chores around the house and take on paid and unpaid tutoring of other younger kids. As they got older, they made contributions towards buying grocery, phone and TV bills. Later I had the opportunity to create a game for teaching children about money myself, called – bMoneywize. I found that involving children in financial decisions at home has had a good effect on their confidence, knowledge and skills with handling money and I encourage you to do the same.
TEACHING CHILDREN ABOUT MONEY - TRY THIS 5 steps that worked in our home that you could try: Show the children how you deal with finances, payments, bills etc. with relevance to their age, making it fun! Teach them enough to help them begin to take care of their money. Try the Money Advice Service or the bMoneywize game for inspiration. Involve them in paying for some smaller bills depending on their age and earnings or at least get them to offer their time to help around the house. Encourage the children to save towards something they want, to give them a feeling of control and achievement, starting with smaller priced items. Reward them in some way, if possible, to help them understand benefits of savings and interest, or offer to pay part of the cost of an item they are saving up for. By Dr Arinola Araba
THE WAY WE SPEAK TO CHILDREN I like looking at and analysing words. Look at the word ‘relationship’ … it has‘ship’ at the end of it, a vehicle for moving or transporting something. It isn’t meant to be still static (though sometimes is!) so what we have in ‘relationships’ is a vehicle for moving relations ….. our relations maybe as in people and the way we interact with them! We want to steer our children through the sometimes choppy waters of life! One of our most important relationships is the one with our children. I find it interesting that some parents treat their children rather like cargo or possessions something that belongs to them and they speak to them so very differently to how they speak to other people. I love the words of Khali Gibran - The Phrophet: Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. They are here in their own right, to shine their own unique brilliance and I believe we are here to guide, nourish and encourage that. I don’t think many parents take much time to consider what kind of ‘parenting’ they are going to
follow or how they are going to parent! They know that either they will do it like their parents did, if that was good, or they won’t if it’s not, though, without know how to do it differently. We want to keep our children safe and help them not make ‘mistakes’ and go through pain, hurt and upset. Though this is all part of life and how they learn. They are here to have the ‘human experience’ all of it, to experience the whole range of emotions and to learn for themselves. Think about the way we speak to children. Sometimes we do yell or bark instructions or commands at them, or you’ve heard people doing that. “Shut the door” “Pick that up” “Do your homework” “Get to your room now” These are called ‘imperatives’ we are commanding they do something. Would we do the same to others? I don’t think so, not most of the time, we seem to have a different relationship in the way we communicate, speak with others. Let’s reframe and soften “Come back and close the door quietly please”. We can also use ‘declaratives’ that means turning it round to include us first (i.e. declaring how we feel or what we’d like) “I’d like you to do your homework now” “I feel the best thing is for you to go to your room right now”. We are better when we respond, rather than react! This may seem like a little thing, though it has a big effect on how our children receive the information. If they experience this from us then they are more likely to behave this way with others. Remember our children will do as we do. They learn from us and the repeated behaviour they witness becomes the ‘norm’ for them and they are wired and programmed that way. Let’s be great role models and be what we want our children to be. By Karen Shaw of Parenting Magic
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JUST FOR YOU - BREAST CANCER Ditch The Junk to Reduce Breast Cancer Risk By Izabella Natrins Sadly, we all know someone (or several someone?) who is struggling with this devastating diagnosis and it’s a huge blow for young families. Today, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their lives and 1 in 5 of those will be under 50 years of age. The good news is that breast cancer risk can be significantly reduced by making small but important lifestyle changes. Breast Cancer UK (BCUK, for which I’m an Ambassador) is an independent charity whose aim is to raise awareness amongst families about the scientifically researched links between breast cancer and exposure to ‘everyday’ hazardous, carcinogenic and endocrine (hormone) disrupting chemicals and to providing practical solutions to help reduce exposure. It’s difficult to avoid exposure to pollutants outside the home, but there is a LOT we can do to protect ourselves and our families from toxins inside our homes. Let’s look at one particular risk, which is all around us: Endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) EDCs are found in a wide variety of products including plastics, pesticides, cosmetics, fragrances, food, kitchen cleaners, adhesives, paints, clothing, medical equipment, and toys. They interfere with our body’s natural production of a variety of hormones, particularly oestrogen and are active at very low doses. Bisphenol A (BPA) is a EDC used in plastic food and drink packaging, in the
lining of some metal cans of food and drink; in thermal till receipts; as an additive in PVC; in CDs, mobile phone and computer casings and glasses. BPA is absorbed into the body (via our skin and food) where it mimics oestrogen and interferes with the normal development of breast tissue in both men and women. Exposure before birth There is growing concern that EDCs may have an adverse effect on a developing child in the womb; BPA is routinely found in blood, amniotic fluid, breast milk and the placenta. Babies and young children Our little ones are not ‘mini’ adults when it comes to pollutant exposure – their immature immune systems are far more vulnerable to hazardous chemicals. What about men? Breast cancer diagnosis in men is increasing, but thankfully slowly. However, prostate cancer rates now rival breast cancer, with 1 in 8 men receiving a diagnosis and this increases with age. While we don’t have as much definitive science on the role of oestrogen in prostate cancer, it too is hormonally driven like most breast cancers, so it would be prudent for men (and boys) to reduce exposure to EDCs. Prevention is always better than cure. Find out more at https://www.breastcanceruk.org.uk
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JUST FOR YOU - THE BOOK OF SOULFUL MUSINGS “It is my great privilege and honour to share the wisdom from the conversations I’ve experienced with some of today's most heart-centred thought leaders and holistic health and well-being educators. It is a dream coming true to craft these teachings into book form. I believe part of my calling on Earth is to help people connect to alternative ideas that inspire them to expand in abundance, love and success.” ChriSOULa Sirigou, The Golden Muse It will help you reflect on where you are Are you at crossroads feeling stuck? Or and help you realise that you are not on perhaps you are already on a self your own, you are not separate from development journey and feel ready to take others, and that you matter. the next step and grow some more. If so, The Book of Soulful Musings: Enlightening Insights, Tools and Guidance from LIFE Inspiring Conversations could be just right for you. BOOK 1 Embracing Holistic Health and Healing for Conscious, Joyous and Prosperous Living looks at Mind, Body, Heart and Spirit. Each chapter represents a powerful “Key” in ChriSOULa’s own evolutionary journey, and is introduced with a personal essay by herself, The Golden Muse, and paired with uplifting poems, inspirational quotes and beautiful photographs from ChriSOULa’s retreats in her motherland, Greece. The book focuses on alternative ways and natural healing remedies as antidotes to help you break free from physical pain and gradually set yourself free from the attachment many of us have developed to drugs in western societies. These tend to mask the symptoms rather than heal. You will also read about ways you can improve your overall physical,mental, emotional and spiritual health.
The Book of Soulful Musings promises to be a timeless keepsake that will help you awaken to LIFE's wondrous possibilities on this colourful quest to learn to Love yourself more, trust your Intuition, be in the Flow of life, always Exploring, Expanding and Evolving. Who is ChriSOULa? Heart IQ™ coach, emotional wellbeing educator, conscious connector and author, ChriSOULa teaches the language and psychology of colour internationally through Colour Mirrors practitioners training programmes and workshops for conscious parents and evolutionary teachers. Catch her spreading Soulful Musings on “The Health and Healing Show” on RedShift Radio Thursdays 2pm to 4pm GMT and on her GoldenMuseTV Show on her YouTube Channel. 50+ Soulful Musings contributors will feature in the book series. Find out more at: www.ChrisoulaSirigou.com/book-contributors
It will invite you to see that there is another way and that taking off the mask and showing your true self to your partner, children and the people you work with, will make your connection with others more intimate and joyous.
The book’s Crowdfunding Campaign launches 19 April 2018 in Nantwich. Get involved with your special entry ticket via: www.chrisoulasirigou.com/soulful-musings-pre-launch BOOK 1 of The Book of Soulful Musings series, to be released Friday 13 July 2018
THE BOOK OF Sue Brookes - Morris www.positive-kids.co.uk
Gill Barham www.gillbarham.com
SOULFUL MUSINGS Enlightening Insights, Tools and Guidance from LIFE Inspiring Conversations
Sue Ritchie www.sue-ritchie.com
Sue Williams www.sue-williams.com
Holistic Health and Healing for a Mindful, Joyous and Anna Ananda Numell Prosperous Life
Elaine Hanzak www.hanzak.com
Emma Guy www.acupuncture thatworks.co.uk
www.chrisoulasirigou.com/soulful-musings to connect with ChriSOULa, the book's vision and contributors