Greetings from Music City, Nashville, Tennessee! I am a graduate from AANE’s AsperCoach Program. Being a certified AsperCoach is a rewarding experience for me, because I work with clients to attain personal goals in their lives and improve their self-sufficiency, independence, and self-esteem. The training to become an AsperCoach, affiliated with the LifeMAP program of AANE, was born out of a desire to do more direct work with individuals with Asperger’s and related profiles.
My husband Steve and I are the parents of a remarkable son, who at the age of three, was diagnosed with High Functioning Autism. Faced with many obstacles and challenges, Steve and I sought to provide a stable, positive upbringing and quality education for our child, now a young adult in college pursuing a career in broadcasting and media production.
Over the years as my son was growing up, many wonderful people came into his life, serving as mentors, helping and encouraging him to do his personal best. They enriched our entire family as well. I decided to pay it forward by becoming an AsperCoach to help other individuals. As a coach, I enjoy encouraging my clients to use their strengths and abilities to reach the goals they have set for themselves.
One of my recent clients had to move to another town away from his family and friends, in order to attend university. My plan with this client was to help him make a successful transition to his new setting. I worked with him to focus on the steps he had to do to leave his current living situation and the steps to take in the process of relocating and adjusting favorably to his new community. Moving to a new location away from a familiar, secure environment is a very stressful experience for anyone. My client was able to successfully stop utilities, clean up and move out of his apartment, and begin to make the necessary arrangements to move into his new living situation. He also was able to find available transportation to and from the university. He was making plans to participate in campus activities, like a writing club, at the university where he could make social connections and feel less homesick.
Successful coaching enables clients with Asperger’s and related profiles to set smaller, manageable, achievable goals in real world situations. Coaching clients to work on one or two achievable and measurable goals in an eight to ten session format can be empowering.. The process of successfully negotiating life situations ultimately helps them positively find their place as participating members of society. I consider myself fortunate to be a part of such an important endeavor.
Carol Karr is an author, educator, and speaker. Under the pen name, B. Suzanne, she published As Birds Soar: One family’s journey living with ADHD and Autism Spectrum. It is currently published on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords and available in print by email.