Finding the right tools for the job

Mandy Forsberg is a busy person. She homeschools seven children, some her own and some her sister’s, with the help of her husband and sister. A number of the children face challenges with autism, fetal alcohol syndrome disorder, and other disabilities.
For over a year Forsberg has also received help from Danielle Renaud, a child and family consultant who resides in Sun Peaks.

“She has helped us parent in a much more proactive way,” Forsberg said. “It has brought our family closer together.”

The sessions, conducted in home, on Skype or at the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel and Conference Centre, have Renaud watch family dynamics and relationships to make suggestions on how to improve.

Forsberg’s youngest child, a daughter with special needs, has been helped greatly by the sessions. Forsberg said with Renaud’s help they have been able to learn what her daughter can understand and create boundaries. It has made them more hopeful for her future.
“It was really good,” she said. “It was heartbreaking for us thinking she wouldn’t be able to function in the real world.”

Forsberg said she was desperate to understand one of her other children, who has autism, but struggled without help. Through sessions with Renaud she said she can now better understand and connect with her child.

“There’s nothing wrong with him; I just need to learn how to help him and understand how he sees the world.”

Renaud said many families like Forsberg’s in Sun Peaks and Kamloops have benefited from her counselling during what can be a difficult time.

“They are often frustrated because they have been through a few diagnoses before getting diagnosed correctly,” Renaud said. “But they are usually relieved and eager to start.”
A session is tailored to the family and may include working with parents individually, working with siblings, or the entire family together.

“Everyone is aware of what is happening,” Renaud said. “Siblings can benefit too.”
She spends time with families to create routines like chore charts, enforce boundaries, work with picky eaters, and help parents and siblings understand behaviour and create strategies to help manage them. She uses applied behaviour analysis and cognitive behavioural therapy to create real life solutions for her clients.

Every family has different needs, but for Renaud each is rewarding.

“It’s really rewarding for me,” she said. “I have clients who thank me but it’s them doing the work, I just provide the tools.”

“You have to have the right tools for the job. You wouldn’t try to use a screwdriver when you need a hammer.”

For more information visit behaviourconsulting.com or contact Renauld at
drdrenaud@yahoo.ca.

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