Autism Coaching

Embracing Neurodiversity is our sister site that focuses on autism coaching. Here you can find courses you can enroll in and complete at your own pace, courses taught live, one-on-one and group coaching, community, and other resources to help you along your path.

For most of my life, I struggled to figure things out on my own. Through trial and error, I learned how to make my way in the world, socialize with other people, moderate my sensory needs, reduce overstimulation, increase my executive functioning skills, and so much more.

I read countless self-help books and implemented many strategies that made a big difference. What had the biggest impact, however, was working with a one-on-one coach. My coach offered me deep healing, unwavering support, accountability, someone to share anything and everything with, and new ways of being in the world.

It was never difficult for me to learn new things, but I often didn’t know what it was I needed to learn. I also thrive off of direct instruction, rather than trying to learn things through experience alone. Often, I need an explanation of the experience to really learn and benefit from the lessons life has to offer. This is where coaching is very effective!

If you are ready to find out how autism coaching can help you, head over to Embracing Neurodiversity and learn how to Consciously Create Your Life! For a more in-depth examination of how coaching changed my life, read the article below. To jump to the blog to learn strategies to improve your life, click here.

Embracing Neurodiversity Autism Coaching logo. Consciously Create Your Life.
Consciously Create Your Life

How My Coach Transformed My Entire Life

For most of my life, I felt lost. It wasn’t that I couldn’t learn things, it was that I needed to know what it was I needed to learn, and I needed direct instruction in addition to first-hand experience. I excelled at academics, but social and street smarts were much more difficult. My parents did the best they could from where they were, but I needed so much more guidance than I received as a child.

Growing in Desperation

I wished desperately that someone would swoop in and save me. I was a very lonely child. My peers shunned and mocked me at school. I remember trying to join in and not knowing what I did wrong when the other children would look at me, then at each other, and run away laughing. Thankfully, I did have a couple of good friends in my elementary years. I also took solace in the natural world.

The problem compounded when I was a teenager. It was not easy having undiagnosed autism, knowing I was very different from my peers, and not having any answers. Not only did it become more difficult to fit in socially, but the tribulations of adolescence catapulted me into a deep depression.

Trying to Find My Way Without Guidance

Not only did I suffer emotionally, but my safety was also in jeopardy. When I was 18 and living on my own for the first time, I found a group at work that seemed to be accepting of me. One night, several people were drinking and hanging out. I didn’t have experience drinking but tried as I thought it was what someone my age was supposed to do.

I did not know how to respond or what to do when one person said he wanted us to go for a drive to a golf course where he could steal gas after hours. I knew this was wrong, but I did not know how to voice my concerns or even decline to ride along. This young man was drunk and going to do something highly illegal and immoral. I didn’t know how to stand up for what I wanted.

Despite everything inside of me telling me not to get into that car, I did. Why? Because the group looked at me and said, “Come on,” and I was not strong enough to say no. I felt like I had to go along with them and was confused, thinking that this must be normal and the young man must not have been as drunk as I thought he was, because no one else’s judgment steered them away.

During that car ride, I felt the weight of the decision I had made as the driver swerved all over the road and I feared for my life. In the end, he did not steal the gas, we were not hurt, and we made it back to the house safely. We must have been watched over that night!

Living Through Relationships Without Knowing Myself

Romantically, I did not fare much better. I thought that if a man was interested in me, I had to at least give him a chance. If he continued to be interested in me after I knew for sure I was not interested in him, I thought it must have been my fault for “leading him on,” when I just wanted to see if I would develop an interest in him or not.

My path was littered with unwanted relationships I thought I had no right to leave. Some of these relationships proved to be very destructive and even dangerous at times. All of this because I was going through life without a compass. With no direction. Forging my way without knowing myself or knowing how to honor myself.

Therapy Saved My Life

When I was 32 years old, I sought out a therapist out of desperate need. I did not know how I could keep living my life. I looked at my children and wanted to experience joy with them but was so depressed that it felt impossible to break free of the clutch my own emotions had on me.

Therapy was incredibly helpful in showing me a light, changing my life circumstances, teaching me about boundaries (both respecting other people’s boundaries and creating and enforcing my own), and learning more about the ins and outs of social relationships.

I worked with my therapist for 6 years, and although we are no longer working together, I still recognize him as the person who saved my life. The problem was, however, that I still had not gotten over some childhood traumas that affected my life every day.

I was diagnosed with CPTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from events that are not part of this blog post but are common experiences amongst autistic people. My therapist tried various techniques to help me, but in the end, I left therapy deflated. I believed that I was truly a hopeless case because my therapist was the best in my mind. If he couldn’t help me, that meant I was hopeless.

Getting Connected with My Coach

When I first heard from Mary, I had never considered hiring a coach. I connected with her through a mutual Facebook friend. About a year after we first connected, I was surprised to get an email from her inviting me to a free event she was running online for women. Normally I would pass on opportunities like this, knowing someone was trying to sell me something.

I already had a positive perception of Mary, and I knew that, like me, she had quit teaching in public schools to seek a new coaching career. Because of her over-the-top dedication to her students, I knew she would be equally dedicated to her coaching clients, so I signed up.

During the free event, I recognized that Mary did indeed have insights that could help me, so I signed up for a group coaching series she had upcoming. She offered me two free one-on-one sessions in addition to the two sessions I had paid for as part of the group coaching package. After these four one-on-one sessions, I was hooked and purchased a 6-month coaching package.

Moving Forward with My Coach

What moved me most about Mary was her warmth and high level of support. My coaching package included unlimited email support, and she kept true to her promise. I emailed her prolifically and she responded thoughtfully to every single message. During our Zoom sessions, she was more present with me than I had ever before experienced anyone being.

The level of support alone that Mary gave me was immensely healing. My emails were a combination of things I wanted advice on and expressions of gratitude for giving me such intense support. I was in awe and so grateful that she made me such a priority. I cannot express how good it felt to be so cared for, paid or not.

Learning I had the Answers Within Me

One thing Mary did was always reflect on me what I saw in her. Any compliment I gave her, she told me I could only see that trait in her because it was in me as well. She challenged me to do specific exercises and answer questions she crafted that helped me see my own worth and ability. As the months passed with Mary as my coach, I became more and more confident with her as my anchor.

During live sessions, when a difficult emotion arose, Mary was able to cut right to the source of it and guide me by talking my inner child through the experience. This was often difficult and at times it took me several minutes to begin speaking the words she gave me to repeat. Through this process, I learned how to be there for myself and overcame deep traumas that did not resolve in six years of therapy.

I was in utter disbelief at how much progress I made with each session. Every session was transforming, whether we were doing deep emotional work or making a practical schedule to balance my day. As time went on, I was overtaken by gratitude as experiences that would have formerly triggered me into a paralyzed state had no such effect on me. I was free.

Reaching New Goals with the Help of My Coach

When I originally began working with Mary, I imagined coaching would be all work geared toward the future. I didn’t realize how much I would crave healing the past. It was necessary to overcome many emotional blocks that kept me from reaching my potential.

After much of the trauma was cleared, I became clear and able to focus on my future. Mary had all the tools I needed to transform my life, as she had already transformed her own. It was one thing to read about hot to change in a book, and it was quite another to have a personal coach helping me step-by-step with the specific changes I needed to make and the specific actions I needed to take.

With Mary’s help, I was unstoppable. The world opened to me in a way I had never seen before, and I felt that I could accomplish anything. Things that seemed impossible in the past, such as reaching those I knew I could help, were all suddenly very realistically within my reach. I could create the life I dreamed of.

How My Perception of Coaching Changed

Before my coaching experience with Mary, I thought that coaching was all hype. I believed that people who didn’t have real skills were trying to make a quick buck off convincing other people that they could change their lives. I thought that life coaches were mediocre at best and trying to teach other people concepts that they had not themselves mastered.

Boy was I wrong. It is possible there are coaches out there who fit the stereotype I held, but since my experience with Mary, I have been surrounded by a world of coaches who are constantly striving to better themselves and improve their skills in working with clients so they can change lives, the same way my life was changed.

Final Thoughts on Coaching

While my relationship with Mary didn’t come cheap, I respected what she charged because a good coach needs a good income to free themselves up for working with their clients instead of constantly just trying to make ends meet. And the value I got from coaching is priceless.

My life is so different now and for the better. I am emotionally stable and mature, I know what goals I am working toward, I have inner peace and can more fully allow love to flow in and out, and I have the experience of someone showing up for me like I was the most important person in the world. That experience alone was enough to change me forever.

I could never go back to how I used to be. I have the skills, wisdom, and relaxed nervous system to live life with ease and build my dreams. I have direction and focus. I have clarity and hard-earned life experience. All thanks for the skills and dedication of my coach, and how she helped bring everything together for me.