I'm Penny.

Through my podcast, award-winning books, parent training programs, parent coaching, and parenting summits, I’ve helped thousands of parents raising kids with ADHD, autism, and/or anxiety improve their lives.

I'd be honored to help you, too.


I empower stuck and struggling parents to dial down the chaos and intensity and help their neurodivergent kid


But I sure didn't know how to do that for myself in the beginning.

That's why I do this work...

When my son was diagnosed with ADHD in 2008, I had no idea what to do to help him. Not even a tiny inkling. I was overwhelmed, frustrated, exhausted, lost, and anything but prepared for the journey before us.

I was 100 percent desperate to turn things around for him (and the whole family), but I had no compass. So, I hit the books, and the internet. I spent every. single. spare. moment learning about ADHD.

Even then, I still started out all wrong. I was searching for how to “fix” ADHD, even though I knew there was no cure.

I was just spinning my wheels in the muck of overwhelm, and not gaining any traction, despite trying with all my might

It took me about three years of that fruitless dance before I got my mindset right and started learning what was actually going to help my kid and my family. I do this work because I don't want any other family to struggle through trial and error, and definitely not for as long as we did. 

When I could see a helpful path in hindsight, I knew I had to share it with all of you!

Let's talk about the #1 parenting block that is keeping you and your neurodivergent kid STUCK, no matter how hard you try to help.

I was standing in the aisle of the thrift store, fluorescent lights buzzing, as my 6 year old lay at my feet on the grimy floor, bellowing and shouting, “It's only a DOLLAR! You're the worst mama ever!”

When I glanced up I was met with the judgmental stares of at least a dozen other shoppers. An overwhelming sense of helplessness gripped my stomach and made my skin tingle. 

I told my son we were leaving and walked toward the door. Suddenly, my load was much heavier as he literally hung from my coattail, still screaming in defiance. I was able to pull forward enough to get outside. The crisp, cold air was both a shock and a relief.


Sitting in the car, he just kept repeating the same phrase in a loop. It was as if his brain was a record stuck in a scratch, repeating the same small section of recording again, and again, and again.

My husband and I grabbed each other's hands and cried. It was right then that we realized he didn't have any control over his behavior. He was essentially a victim of his own neurology at that moment.

It was then clear that traditional parenting wasn't working for our kid. I realized that I had to muster the courage to step out of my comfort zone, reject societal pressures, and create my own parenting journey.

I had to get okay with the vulnerability required to accept my child's different wiring and to let him guide us to what he needs, rather than trying to control his behavior. With an open mind, I could learn how to be the parent he needed me to be.

Once I learned about the biology of meltdowns (and all behavior), I realized that my son’s thinking brain was offline during meltdowns and his emotional and survival brains had essentially hijacked his body.

That switch in how I thought about his behavior — from “he won’t” to “he can’t” — shifted everything for us. Not to mention our kid. Once I recognized what was happening under the surface, we were able to help him through times of stress and prevent most meltdowns altogether.

This turning point offered some relief, fewer battles, a lot less anxiety and stress, and more confidence in our parenting. Not to mention the improvement in our kid's sense of competence, self-confidence, and the resulting transformation in his day-to-day experience.

And that created OPPORTUNITIES FOR SUCCESS AND JOY for my neurodivergent kiddo.

here's the secret...

Behavior is simply a signal of need.

Rejecting the idea of parenting through control and letting your child's signals guide your parenting is the most effective way to help your neurodivergent kid succeed and thrive.

Wanna know how I would have parented my neurodivergent kid if I knew at the start what I know now?

There's no such thing as a perfect parent or a perfect life.

Accept that struggle is part of life.

I really couldn't accept that my son was going to have some lifelong struggles for a very long time. I'm a type-A fixer, so I was focused on “fixing” what was creating the struggle… which can't be done. We can't change our kids, and shouldn't want to. 

Instead, the caring adults in their lives need to change. We must adapt for the kid we have, while building their skills to they can achieve success and joy and a life that feels authentic to them. 

What helped me with this mindset transition is this Buddhist saying:

“Pain is certain. Suffering is optional.”

Learn about safety and the biology of behavior.

There's more to safety than the absence of danger. There's also psychological, emotional, and social safety. When an individual doesn't feel safe in any of those realms, their nervous system fires off warning signals and they become dysregulated. And when a person is dysregulated, they have lmited access to the thinking brain, including processing language, executive functions, and rational thought. That means that things aren't doable for someone who doesn't feel safe in all aspects. Safety controls doability for your kid.

Focus on building emotional skills and regulation.

Many neurodivergent kids have a very limited view of feelings and emotions, often causing very dramatic displays of emotion that can lack healthy communication skills and coping strategies. 

That means two things: we have to make a conscious and consistent effort to (1) model how we handle mistakes, frustration, other emotions; and (2) teach emotion identification, interoception, and appropriate communication of how one is  feeling. 

Teach grit and resilience by letting kids struggle sometimes.

I am a reformed helicopter parent. For years I truly felt my #1 role as parent was protector — to prevent as much pain and discomfort as I possibly could. 

At a point much later than ideal, I realized that my kids didn't know how to sit with discomfort because they never had to practice perseverance to develop grit and resilience. By trying to protect them from harm, I was preventing them from being able to navigate the inevitable struggles in life. That was a huge mistake.

The bottom line

Reject control-based parenting.

There's a better way.

Reframing each behavior as a signal of need is the most effective way to help your neurodivergent kid succeed and thrive.

Do you know how long it took me to figure that out on my own? YEARS! Years of reading books, researching, and networking to determine what someone — anyone — should have told me on day one. 

I didn't even know I should learn about the autonomic nervous system until 10 years in. I recognize that not knowing what I needed to know wasn't my failure, but that doesn't make it any less maddening.

That is precisely why I do this work… because someone needed to stand up and let parents know the wisdom being learned in the trenches to save others from the same prolonged tailspin. 

You can't be a perfect parent, but you can be the parent you want to be and the parent

your child needs you to be.

Press play to see what I do and why I do it...

I believe...

There is greatness within every human.

We are raising and teaching individuals.

Kids do well if they can (parents too).

Behavior is a signal of need.

Connection can heal so many problems.

Every child deserves to feel confident and competent.

Success is defined by each individual.

The parent-child relationship matters most.

Kids aren't giving you a hard time, they're having a hard time.

All kids need to be loved just the way they are.

Every child and every family can thrive.

We are all beautifully complex and marvelously imperfect.

let's do this!

Create real-life  transformation with someone who gets you and your family.

I'm here to help you transform from overwhelmed, exhausted, frustrated, and alone into an intentional, calm parent who successfully helps their child thrive.

With my parent training and/or coaching, you'll learn how to:

This isn't really about me…

it's about how I can help you.

But in case you're wondering…

You're reading this, so I know you're not there just yet

But oh how I get it! I know what it's like to:

Today, after 15 years of parenting a kid with ADHD and autism, and over 10 years of helping parents like you, I'm here to shed light on a new possibility: that you can help your child uncover their greatness within, and you can enjoy your family.

Start Typing