My name is Angela Kelly and as well as a team member of Special Needs Jungle, I am a counsellor/psychotherapist working with adults and adolescents.
I was born and raised in Surrey and I have three step-children, twin boys James and Andrew and Sarah my step daughter. They are all grown up now with partners/wives and children of their own (I know… I don’t look old enough) and living successful independent lives, but I raised them from the ages of 11 and 8 respectively and I have learnt a lot from them.
Then along came my two, Ed and Monty and I was launched rather unceremoniously into the word of SEN.
It was like walking down a dark road, completely blindfolded, with trip hazards and dead ends everywhere. Help was extremely limited, support groups appeared non existent (they weren’t, you just had to find them yourselves, but where did I start?) and the people I thought who would be able to help couldn’t!
Up until the birth of my second child I had worked in admin, it helped pay the bills and I wasn’t unhappy. However it became obvious that working and raising a child with significant special needs was going to prove impossible and I left paid employment.
It was during this journey that I myself sought counselling to help me deal with the challenges that raising two boys with SEN gave me and, finding the process amazingly helpful, I studied for three years to become a therapist myself and I love what I do!
I also became passionate about the needs of children with SEN and their parents. I was determined to expand my knowledge about the SEN system and to discover what help was available, either by right or otherwise. During our journey I noticed that I was expected to be grateful or lucky (two things that I find particularly irksome) for anything my sons were given, which gives the sense that I shouldn’t be asking for too much, that really did not feel right. It was then that I understood the process of ensuring the all the small details were in place when it came to EHCPs or Assessments and I wanted other parents to share this knowledge too. It was shortly after that I met Tania, we were both involved with a Surrey Parent Carer Forum and after we left Tania asked me if I would like to become involved with SNJ, I of course said yes and here we are today.
I have a special interest in the emotions involved in being a family member or carer of a child with additional needs and how these impact on the everyday wellbeing of the individuals involved.
Read Angela's Posts
- Autism and Anxiety: What helps?
- The emotional impact of parenting a disabled child
- How can children be traumatised just by going to school?
- Teens and mental health: being a supportive parent in a wild online world
- Stress and parenting: Don’t fall into the guilt trap
- Why boosting internet safety and promoting children’s mental health go hand in hand
- Speak your truth on MORE plans to transform children’s mental health care
- To medicate my anxious child or not. It’s an emotive question
- Tips to help a bullied child: Anti-Bullying Week
- Top tips for keeping your cool when parenting styles conflict
- How do people with autism experience empathy?
- Learning to cope with your child’s Pathological Demand Avoidance
- Pathological Demand Avoidance Day!
- Teenage years and special needs: from angel to devil and back again
- Is Peer Support a replacement for professional mental health support?
- Top tips for mindful parents in developing your children’s resilience
- How to make your friends and family with special needs kids feel welcome
- Anti-Bullying Week: How to help a victim of bullying
- Why Family Therapy can break down the barriers we didn’t know were there
- Banned from Prom, but my school refuser son’s new future beckons
- Sensory processing in autism: research developments
- Counselling and mental health services: Will they still be delivered?
- Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) – What actually changes now?
- Mindfulness: How can it help with mental health difficulties?
- World Autism Day: A boy and his Assistance dog
- SEND reforms: Why working with parents means taking a walk in our shoes.
- How to distress a child with an invisible disability without really trying
- Children’s Mental Health: Our experience of CAMHS nearly broke us
- The 12 “Dos” of Christmas for special needs parents
- Supporting your child through the anguish of bullying
- World Mental Health Day – Some healthy thinking tips
- The importance of learning resilience
- How the respite of a Short Break can keep a family together
- Staying sane in special needs parenting: Finding 15 minutes a day to be “just me”
- A mother’s top tips for parenting your ADHD child
- My son has autism! Is anyone listening?
- School Refusal: won’t go or can’t go?
- A Parenting Course? How dare you!