Testimonials

Testimonials

Coaching
'Cathy I honestly can't thank you enough! Out of everybody we have worked with and tried different techniques you are the only one who has truly listened and understood. Without your help and belief in me I could have given up and have felt like that a few times. It really does mean so much to me. Thank you once again for the help you have given me, it has made a huge difference for my parenting and understanding and how it must be for my daughter..... You are a wonderful lady Cathy.' Kim, West Sussex, July 2017

Coaching
'Cathy really helped me focus on key issues and gave good pragmatic advice, particularly about avoiding conflict and influencing my adult son in more productive ways. I felt supported by someone who fully understood the issues. Many thanks' Trisha, Aug 17

Coaching
'The coaching was for my daughter following two unhelpful attempts at counselling. Cathy gave her practical strategies and a way forward. Her anxiety and depression have been significantly reduced, she is sleeping better and seems more in control of her own life. She is much calmer, much less prone to meltdowns and recovers much better after them. Her relationship with her sister seems better. The coaching was very expensive for us as a family but in my opinion the benefit cannot have a price put on it. I was struggling to see a future for my daughter, but now I think we can both see a future ahead for her.' Helen, Herefordshire, June 2017

Training
'Thank you so much for that wonderful course. I could not have anticipated how much I would learn and it was so lovely to meet other parents. I put some of the strategies into force when I got home and they worked. I have a lot to learn and adapt to help ****** but I feel more confident now and have a much greater understanding of his condition.' Angela, Kent Thank you. July 2017

Coaching
'I stumbled across Cathy's contacts on an ASD website at a particularly difficult life stage for my 9 year old Asperger daughter. Our precious child was deeply anxious and unhappy, and that effected the whole family. It was a low point for us all. Calling Cathy that day was a serendipitous moment that would change our family life. Cathy taught me and my husband the strategies and skills we needed to get our family life back on track and gave us the knowledge we needed to put us on a road that will help our daughter to not only cope but to thrive. No doubt there will be other difficult life stages for our daughters in the years ahead, both the aspergirl and the neuro-typical one! But what I and my husband have learnt and the new skills we have acquired make us stronger and more confident to face them head on. I highly recommend Cathy's services.' Helen, London. March 2017

Coaching
'Cathy May has helped me understand my son enabling me to give him the best support possible. She has provided answers to what appeared to be overwhelming challenges and great confidence to deal with difficult external concerns such as school. The whole process couldn't have been more professional and friendly. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this life changing guidance.' Jenny, Kent. March 2017

Training
'I went on Karen’s one day training course in early February and I am so very glad I did. I gained so much knowledge about PDA which fit so exactly with my experience of my 5 year old daughter that that in itself felt incredibly supportive as I knew that I was not alone and that there were many ways to support and help her – and me - and that in itself has made more difference to my life than I can express in words. The insight into PDA also made me more empathetic and instantly calmer (thought I have to work on this daily!) and the knowledge I gained, along with a discussion with another Mum in the break enabled me to go from her not sleeping until midnight with me in her room to her falling asleep on her own in her room in less than a week. Three months later, I am still processing the information, practicing the skills and going back to my notes again and again, and I am finding this very supportive and helpful. My daughter’s father has just done the course also and the difference I have seen in his response to her when she becomes angry and overwhelmed is incredible. He remains calm and diffuses a situation which might have previously escalated. I am so very grateful for Side by Side and to Karen. She is a fantastic role model, having been through it all herself, and a great trainer, ensuring she gets through the important material whilst adapting to the needs of the group. I urge any parent who thinks their child might have PDA to go on the course – it is a tiny investment for a huge reward. Thank you Side by Side!' Parent, April 2017

Training
'Dear Karen, I just wanted to let you know that 'my' little boy has exceeded everyone's expectations.  With the help of 'Handwriting Without Tears', giving him choices , lots of patience, reassurance and  a reward chart, his reading has increased by two levels, his handwriting is independent and legible and his violent outbursts have ceased.
I found your course invaluable and wanted to say thank you. It gave me the confidence and belief that I could and would help him in a school environment.  Sincere thanks.'1-1 TA, April 2017

Training
'Hi Karen just wanted to say thank you very much for yesterday we have found it very useful and are looking forward to some brighter times ahead. I'm so glad my partner came he is eventually on the same page as me so I know longer feel that I am fighting a loosing battle.  When we arrived home yesterday we managed to avoid one meltdown completely and calm another down a lot quicker and stop it escalating further just by working together and using the things we learnt yesterday so thank you so much 🙂 ' Jane, London. April 2017

Coaching
'Cathy has helped me and my family through a particularly difficult time in a sensitive and understanding way. Her support has been a real lifeline for me. I have a better understanding of my daughter's behaviour and am better equipped with strategies for dealing with her. Our relationship is improving. Thank you, Cathy, you have been brilliant.' Jill, London. February 2017

Coaching
'Cathy has been able to provide me with a deeper understanding of how the cogs in my head turn and the way I can turn them into strengths over weaknesses. The sessions we had together have helped me understand myself so that i can go about working in ways that help me run as efficiently as possible. I have been able to form my own methods of coping with the lack of attention that used to be a roadblock to me achieving the things I have wanted to. Since my coaching with Cathy, my family have commented on what a wonderful change in me that they have seen over the last few months. Thank you Cathy, the person I become from this point on and the things I go on to achieve that I wouldn’t have before (no matter how big or small), I feel like I owe to the advice and information that you provided to me during our sessions.' Liam, ADHD, Herts.  February 2017

Training
'
Karen, Just wanted to say thanks for hosting the course yesterday.  It was excellent and what you are doing for people is inspiring. Thanks again. Parent. March 2017

Coaching
'From only doing 6 hrs work in a whole term and hitting rock bottom, I have now completed 16 weeks of quality work in just a month and submitted today! Now that I’ve seen what I can do, it’s time to do even more!' Student, ADD, London. February 2017

Coaching
'My daughter found her first session with you really helpful and feels she will gain a great deal from working with you over the forthcoming weeks. She particularly liked the fact that you are trying to help her understand her ADD and then help her find strategies to solve the issues. Personally, I feel reassured that this gives her an emotional safe place once a week. Being a concerned Mum who now lives many miles away from my daughter, I wanted to say thank you.' Mum of Uni student, Exeter. January 2017

Coaching
'I would like to thank you so much for your help, for being so available at difficult moments and also being so caring and understanding. Thanks to you we now understand a lot more about Asperger's and have had fewer fights and arguments. I am sure you will keep growing because you are an excellent professional. I will certainly recommend you to anyone that needs help with a partner or child with autism. If we need you again we will certainly get in touch.' Married couple, Luxembourg. January 2017

Training
'Thanks so much for a really excellent morning, which was one of the most useful training's I’ve been to for a very long time! I feel like I’ve learnt a huge amount and will be reading up on PDA for some time to come, I’m sure! I hope you weren’t too exhausted by the end of it, but it was well worth your energy and effort, so thanks again. I shall certainly be passing on your details to anyone who works with children on the spectrum, especially in an assessment capacity.' Independent Educational Psychologist. December 2016

Coaching
'Cathy has made a huge difference to our daughter’s and our families lives. She makes us see why things are happening and what we can do about it. Cathy is great (Mum). Cathy helped me understand it, helped me make some friends and feel happier.' (Daughter) Hertfordshire. December 2016

Coaching
'Learning about PDA and ASD was a big step; Cathy helped me to stay focused on key strategies to get some traction in our family life. I don't know what I would have done without her. Whenever I had a question about doing A, B, or C next, Cathy was able to help me work it out, evaluate, and move on. Skype works beautifully for me over in Canada! What a wonderful technological blessing!! Thank you Cathy... I will keep in touch, and may call on your services again in future.' Diane – Ontario, Canada. December 2016

Training
'I found the PDA training very helpful, interesting and fun! The course was brilliantly presented and easy to follow. I would highly recommend this course and Karen to anyone!! I learnt so much, thank you for a great day!!' Parent. November 2016

Training
'I just wanted to thank you for the really useful training last Friday. As I had to dash off for my train, I was unable to complete a feedback form but I wanted to let you know that I found it very helpful and was so pleased that I'd attended. I think it has given me new insight into the condition and I have come away with ideas about how I can work differently with our students. I found the contributions from parents insightful and I really appreciated that you kept the discussion broad and relevant.' Teacher. November 2016

Coaching
'I felt Cathy and I had a rapport straight away. She made me feel at ease and I felt I could open up freely and discuss issues. I also felt that Cathy was experienced and had the skills to help me which gave me confidence. She has given me confidence that I am on the right track in helping my daughter which has made me feel very happy and motivated. I had a great experience and feel positive for the future and if things slip a bit I know I can come back for more support. I really liked Skyping as opposed to face to face. Very convenient and personal without feeling intimidating. I am very grateful for the support and I would definitely recommend Cathy and this service to others.' Parent, Essex. October 2016

Coaching
‘J will only speak to people who he feels comfortable with and the fact that he was willing towards the end of the course to do 1 hour sessions on his own without his mum to talk for him speaks volumes and was far more than I expected. Cathy's help in helping J complete his personal statement for UCAS and his application for PIP were invaluable. She did everything she could to make J feel at ease. She was always very straight talking, forcing J to deal with the reality of things as they were rather than just telling him what he wanted to hear which helped to give him more realistic expectations and make more informed decisions himself. He was originally very reluctant to attend sessions but ended up requesting to see Cathy again for when he starts university. I am hoping that Cathy can continue to give him guidance and help him to successfully deal with all the new challenges and changes that are ahead for him. Thank you.' Mother of Student – Essex. October 2016

Coaching
‘Cathy has provided both in-sight and practical support in a comfortable and non judgemental manner. I did not necessarily expect her to be able to make such an immediate and positive effect but from the first session she provided advice which we were able to implement and which had very positive outcomes. Both my husband and I are calmer, and more aligned in our approach. Both children have benefited from our greater understanding, and from the strategies we have implemented. Cathy has been great and I would (and probably will) use her again and recommend her without reservation.’ September 2016

Training
'The course was relevant, detailed and targeted to my child with specific strategies I can take away and use re emotions and self esteem and pass on to my husband too!  The course has give me confidence as I had worked out some of these strategies myself but these ideas will help me to develop my strategies further. Thanks so much for packing in so much info!' Parent. September 2016

Training
'Dear Karen,
The changes I have seen in ................. since applying what I learnt on the course have been nothing short of miraculous!' Parent. August 2016

Training
'Dear Karen,
Charlotte and I would like to say thank you so much for such an insightful / light bulb moment day. The knowledge and experience you shared with us was invaluable and I'm really sure that it'll make a difference to our family life and ..... future happiness as we learn to implement it.' Parent. August 2016

Coaching
'The Coaching has certainly met my expectations and It was brilliant to talk to someone who I felt I could be open towards. I feel like I now look at myself in the world differently in a more positive way whereas before I had a very negative way of thinking about life. The Coaching was the first I had ever really done and I did find it helpful. It was great to talk to someone who understood me and who could give advice and help. Adult (male). August 2016'.

Training
'Hi Karen,
Thank you very much for today, I feel even more that ...... has pda now, it was nice to meet people in the same situation, it is very helpful to learn the different ways of how to help her and get the best from her! Meeting you and hearing about how your son is doing gives me great hope for our daughters future! I found your training really helpful and you put it across so easy for people to understand and take in, which I haven't found with some other courses I have been on! Thank you again.' Parent 🙂 July 2016

Training
‘I can't thank you enough for the enlightening workshop on Friday. It was so interesting and with so much gratefully received content I have spent the weekend trying to digest it all! I walked away feeling like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders and feeling confident with my new knowledge and tools. I've been putting some into practice over the weekend and have noticed immediate positive responses but it is and always will be a work in progress!
Thank you again for opening up our eyes and enabling us to support our little ones.' June 2016

Training
‘I wanted to drop you a note to thank you again for the excellent training. I learnt so many strategies which I can employ immediately with my son and it was wonderful to be in a room of people who are all experiencing the same challenges with their children. It made me feel that my experiences were normal in the realm of PDA, and weirdly that has lifted my spirits enormously.  I've already put your tactic into action and it's working. At the end of the day yesterday my son came out of his room and joined the family and dogs for an evening walk. This is a really big deal!!!!!! He hasn't done this for at least two years and despite the stress of the prospect of returning to school today he was in a space where he was able to do so. I wish all individuals who have a role to play in the lives of a child with PDA could have this training, teachers, therapists and families because I know it's going to make such a difference to my son's life at home. I'll be booking on next year for a refresher.’ May 2016

Coaching
‘Cathy provided the right level of expertise and knowledge. I have been reassured that despite being constantly criticised by family/friends I have in fact been on a pretty logical path way for my son. It is a service that should be more readily available as there is a huge demand out there for skilled coaches like Cathy who have lived, eaten and breathed living and dealing with youngsters on the ASD spectrum 24/7 to help desperate parents/teachers. Keep up the good work! Having people who understand the place you are in is invaluable.’ Parent and professional, Reading. May 2016

Training
'Excellent PDA course which will help our family life enormously!' Parent. April 2016

Training
'Hi Karen, Many thanks for your PDA course today. I found it packed with information and am glad for the Powerpoint copies to refer back to what my memory fails to retain! You are clearly passionate and well informed about what you teach. I now feel much better able to support my daughter. Warm regards.' Parent, London. March 2016

Training
'Very informative, great course, I have learnt a lot thank you!' Parent, Surrey. March 2016

Training 'Hi Karen, Thank You so much for sharing your experience and knowledge. You are truly fantastic at what you do, so many people struggle and are not strong enough to share their experiences to help others. I'm so glad we found you. Just meeting other people with the same hurdles is reassuring, supportive and hopeful. We are definitely interested in using your services further. Thanks again wonderful lady.' Christine, Senior Support Worker. March 2016

Coaching
'Hi Karen,
I came to your training last summer in London, and you gave me Cathy May's details to contact about my definitely PDA son aged 27. We had coaching with her through the summer and autumn which was hugely helpful - I can't thank you enough for putting me in touch with her. I have passed on your details to various people including our school SENDCO, who I believe is coming to the training in London. Thank you so much for lightening the load...!' February 2016

Training
'Thank you so much for today, it was lovely meeting you and I learnt so much. I had several light bulb moments, could see where my approach is totally wrong at times and today for the first time in a very long time I had some hope.' Parent, Surrey. February 2016

Coaching
'We discovered Side by Side and Cathy May when researching PDA and its link to autism on the internet. We have a 7 year old boy on the spectrum and had been experiencing difficulties with him refusing to engage in activities, such as swimming, which he had previously enjoyed, we thought this may be PDA and wanted more information. What we actually got was some amazing support for us and insight into our son which has helped us enormously with understanding his behaviour and dealing with some of the difficulties autism can produce. Having a child with autism can be challenging, you think you have a handle on it and then something happens. Sometimes it 's hard to find the support you need, or even to recognise that you even need it, but if you are struggling, as we were, even if it's something small, I would encourage anyone to contact Side by side. Cathy is enormously experienced, calm, non judgemental and positive and our weekly Skype has helped us hugely.' Annie. February 2016

Coaching
Poem written by client, Birmingham.
'Adversity should be seen in it's rawest form of challenge and hope, that in fact adversity brings great things to those who suffer but do not fall. Accept the gifts that this shall bring, appreciate, cherish and hold them so dear, for these gifts are given to those who choose to see,
to those who have the strength and the courage to receive.' Inspired by Cathy May. January 2016

Coaching
‘As a result of coaching I saw real improvements in my life. Keep up the great work!’ Adult with ADHD, London. January 2016

Coaching
‘Attending your course Karen has proven absolutely invaluable and will change a lot of things for myself and my son. It has given me insight into understanding him after a long and confusing 12 years. The gift yourself and Cathy has given me is greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.’ Dominique, Birmingham. December 2015

Training
‘Karen carried out a half day INSET training on PDA for our team of multi-disciplinary staff. We found the training useful and interesting, with a good balance of theory mixed with practical advice. Karen is clearly passionate about enabling professionals to successfully support children and young adults with PDA and this made her presentation very engaging. Her personal experience of both Autism and PDA combined with her professional practice made the training both accessible and meaningful.’ Blossom House School. (Specialist school for children with speech, language and communication difficulties). December 2015

Coaching
‘You will never know Cathy quite how much you have saved me and my family and I really cannot thank you enough. I just hope one day I might be able to help others in some way too’ Anna, Grantham. November 2015

Training
‘Thank you so much for the excellent course. Very worthwhile!' Jane, London. November 2015

Coaching
‘I graduated with a 2.1 degree classification. Your coaching sessions really did help me a lot with the procrastination/motivational side of my ADD. Although it was difficult to revise for my exams, I can honestly say that I have done the most revision in my life as a result of your coaching, and help from Dr. Montgomery.' Student LSE. November 2015

Training
'Thanks very much for the training day, I found it very useful and have already incorporated ideas when visiting families.' Professional, London. October 2015

Coaching
'Thank you so much Anne for your help over the last few months, you were my first glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel. I don't just manage in life now but really feel fully engaged with life and living. Thank you for your guidance, calm presence and wise words!’ JA. October 2015

Training
'Re Karen's training: 'Simply we wanted to rate every aspect as 5 (excellent). You are clearly well versed and very experienced in all aspects of PDA and your presentation was thorough and appropriate. Grandparents and School Governors' October 2015

Coaching
'A very positive experience.  Cathy rescued me when I was at rock bottom.  She provided practical advice and support with realistic but positive encouragement.  As parents we have a greater understanding and knowledge on our sons diagnosis of ASD with extreme demand avoidance.’ Tiffany, Surrey. September 2015

Coaching
'I just wanted to say an EXTREMELY BIG thank you for all of your hard work, time and support you have given my families and me this year. I really can't stress enough how far we have come since you have been working with the XXX family and the positive impact you have had. You really are ‘one in a million’ and such a pleasure to work with. It is so rewarding to see what a HUGE difference you are making to families lives.' Head teacher, Mainstream School, Herts. September 2015

Training
'Thank you Karen - You made it very clear and easy to understand with examples.  Really learnt a lot. Many thanks.' Speech and Language Therapist. September 2015

Training
'Thank you so much for a really informative course. I feel there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the little boy in my class' August 2015

Coaching
Cathy is a very professional, empathic and capable coach. The coaching sessions were really useful and she accommodated my schedule preferences in a flexible and efficient way. Cathy's suggestions have really helped me cope better with ADHD and I started feeling the improvement after session 1. The different strategies for time management and the ideas to better deal with fidgeting and distractions have been particularly beneficial for me' Gisela, Mexico. August 2015

Coaching
‘Thank you Anne, my tunnel is not so dark. You have been an inspiration and a Godsend’ SH. August 2015

Training
'The PDA training workshop was a light bulb experience in understanding our son's difficulties and why traditional ASD strategies were not working. Karen is a real inspiration and has used her personal experience to develop a very practical and empathic programme to help other families overcome the many challenges which she has already faced. The new perspective we have gained has been incredibly helpful. We highly recommend the workshop' August 2015

Coaching
‘I don't know how we would have managed without you. You are very generous and lovely at what you do’ JJ. July 2015

For more information contact:
Coaching +44 (0)7956 023636
Training +44 (0)7850 264265
Or Contact Us here.

Online Specialist ADHD, Asperger Syndrome, Autism and PDA Coaching