Education, SEND, Autism, ADHD, hidden disability, Suzy Rowland, Events, Happy in School

Expert Overload & Imposter Syndrome

Arrived back from doing a huge talk in Birmingham at Khembe’s Return to Your Roots about autism and ADHD and their impact on Black children who are often diagnosed later or misdiagnosed (Institute of Education) and are pretty near the top of the exclusions table (Department for Education). I set up the #happyinschool project less than a year ago and have smashed many goals, without realising. Not specifically financial goals, but goals that have a value beyond monetary. I’m talking about building a sense of value and credibility in my brand. How?

1. I take risks, putting myself well out of my comfort zone.

2. I’m know who I want to engage and I like the engagement.

3. I’ve researched my specialism for the past 8 years.

4. I’m passionate about what I’m doing.

#happyinschool Founder, Suzy Rowland

5. I use every scrap of experience (good and bad) from my corporate communications, copywriting and marketing career, to boost engagement and present a professional and consistent brand. I won’t lie, there have been long nights and flashes of the dreaded imposter syndrome, especially with so many autism and ADHD experts to pick from. Then I remember what I’m doing is about people, families, fairness, equality, shifting mindsets and my heart breathes a sigh of relief. I’m working with values I believe in and they’re tangible to me. The educators and families I work with experience this first hand. Take THAT imposter syndrome!

I’ve been knocked sideways by the support and positive feedback from parents and look forward to seeing you at the next session at the White House in Hampton. Click on the link below of fill in the contact form. There is still much to share:


Events, Happy in School

#happyinschool in the Hamptons!

Sounds rather grand doesn’t it? Hampton Court Palace isn’t far but don’t let that fool you. The Hamptons is a lovely place to live and comprises Hampton Village, Hampton Court (home to the palace), Hampton Wick, just a hop from Kingston Upon Thames and Hampton Hill, not too far away from neighbouring Teddington. But just like every town and and city in the UK, the Hamptons is home to a variety of families, experiencing very different lives.

I can’t wait to host the #happyinschool workshops at the Greenwood Centre; it’s a great local community centre, with several nursery schools, infant and junior schools within walking distance. The Greenwood Centre used to have its own charity shop and newsletter but sadly both are wound up. I think it’s important to support local community centres and I’m looking forward to meeting lots of parents.

In my capacity of #happyinschool project founder and principal trainer, I meet parents from all walks of life, who have children with disabilities. It’s a real eye-opener; disability of any type, is a great leveller. I love how parents relate stories about their kids and the things they do to support their experience of the world.

One parent purchased about twenty boxes of  cereal with a cartoon character that their boy loved, only to discover a few week’s later, that his obsession with that character had passed! A mother revealed that she buys highly calorific snacks for her child, as his heightened sensory responses to certain foods have resulted in weight loss. Then there’s the parent who get to work late, travelling in the rush hour, so her daughter can be dropped off to school at the exact time when the children are going into the classroom. Why does she do this? Because her daughter doesn’t like waiting in the playground in the mornings – the noise levels and intense pre-school conversations cause her anxiety levels to rise significantly. Not the best start to her day. All of these different experiences bind us together.

confused child
#happyinschool  – a unique tribe of parents

One of the most powerful things we discuss in the #happyinschool sessions, is how to articulate our child’s needs without resorting to anger, sarcasm or passivity. Feelings can run high when parents and educators are in discussions about what accommodations are reasonable for a child with additional needs. Due to funding challenges, changes in the law and school behaviour policies, conditions are perfect for opprobrium on both sides.

Learning how to recognise our behaviours under pressure and that of our children and their teachers, is a powerful step towards reaching a successful outcome. Although in reality, it’s just one step of many.

Tickets for Greenwood Centre:

Join the #happyinschool tribe over on Facebook:

© Suzy Rowland