I am Janessa, a mother to three amazing children and to an orange fluffy cat who recently lost his best buddy.

They snuggled – it was pretty adorable

Several years ago my oldest son was diagnosed with Autism. At the time, I did everything I was told to do. I enlisted therapists, got on long wait lists and quietly died inside as each day became more stressful than the next. Sensory meltdowns could last over an hour, doors were punched and kicked so hard that the hinges gave way, self harm was happening, household stress was piling on, my family had no concept of Autism or how to handle it and no one understood me.

Overwhelmed by the list of things my child ‘must’ accomplish to be successful and the short time frame that was given for him to accomplish it in (by 12 or it becomes highly unlikely to see change – or so I was told), I didn’t know how to cope. I spent days making lists, just to crumple them up, I spent countless moments going to the bathroom to cry, I called any person I could think of that could help, researched till my eyes bled and slowly started pulling away from community. Church?? I dreaded attending. Friends, I saw the looks – when my son screamed, when he hid in his room, when he became violent … and I couldn’t blame them – but I felt it, the alone-ness, the judgement. Then there were the social workers, the behavior therapist and the endless list of specialists …. How could I tell These people the feelings I felt?

If you look up parent coaching or autism coaching you will find pages of people

I am not that person.

I am the person you call

When you have gotten the diagnosis of autism and you have dropped to your knees.

When you don’t know who to talk to about ‘begining’.

When you need someone to listen and understand what you are going through.

First we will walk through the emotions of the diagnosis togethter, then we will work towards goals of understanding your child’s uniqueness and learning how to celebrate it rather than constantly look at it as a disability.

No matter where you are in this world you cannot do it alone. You also can not do it by hiding from the truth. You cannot be a great parent if you aren’t honest about the moments that bring us to our knees and we all experience those. By accepting those moments, we allow space in our lives to see the joy. When we let go of what we consider success and happiness and look to each child individually – allowing them to grow – not hindered by what we want for them but giving them freedom and confidence to be Themselves, you will experience a child who is strong in your love, confident in you as a parent and one who will thrive. You will feel stronger in your choices, happier and enjoy your children and the moments you have with them.

One Red Zebra is about celebrating individuality, viewing differences in a positive light and navigating all the emotions that come with this journey.

I am excited to meet you!